RENTON, WA: Wizards of the Coast, a manufacturer of trading-card and role-play games, has selected agencies of record to handle efforts for two of the most iconic brands in the world of fantasy games.
Hunter Public Relations will represent Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), and The Bohle Co. will take on Magic: The Gathering.
"We recognize the importance of PR, and it is a significant part of our integrated marketing," said Cornelius Lee, SVP of marketing at Wizards. "People have lots of entertainment options, so we [sought] firms that can connect with our audiences and be creative in order to help us stay competitive."
At a time when the video-game industry is exploding, from Microsoft's forthcoming Xbox 360 to video games for cell phones, Hunter and Bohle will strive to remind people about the tremendous following D&D and Magic have.
"What people don't realize is that [D&D] is being played around the world, getting stronger every year," said Grace Leong, president of Hunter. D&D has about 4.5 million players around the world.
D&D elicits tremendous passion and interest among gamers, and today's video-game designers have been greatly influenced by the game, noted Leong, who added that she wants the outreach effort to focus on the social interaction that is inherent in D&D.
"You have to rely on the dwarf to your right and the wizard on your left, and it's all about teamwork and social interaction," she said.
Sue Bohle, president of her eponymous agency, noted that PR would play a role in helping expand Magic's player base, as well as helping to focus on aspects of the game people might not know about.
"There are pro leagues for Magic," said Bohle. "People are quitting their jobs and becoming professional players. They can win $50,000 purses. I think that says something about the increasing sophistication needed to play these games."