Ronnie Gu (顾弘), media director of SoftPR Consultants, the PR agency for The Something Big Group, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that this “is the first time the NBA has picked a Chinese mobile game company to be its partner.”
Gu explained that Rob Millman, senior VP, global merchandising of the NBA, came to China last year to search for a mobile-game design partner.
He also said sports-related mobile games have long been popular, and that the NBA’s mobile games particularly have a wide fan base. “However,” Gu added, “western mobile-game design companies have traditionally dominated copyrights in this segment, hence that makes it harder for Mainland Chinese companies to enter this arena.”
CEO Tony Mei founded The Something Big Group in 2010. He previously had senior roles at Pepsi and Nike China. His company has created popular mobile games with Chinese cultural and folklore elements, drawing on history and the in-vogue Three Kingdoms era. Its title Shoujisanguo (手机三国), ranks in the top 20 on the Google mobile game chart, and holds the top spot in Apple’s app store in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Another of the firm’s games, Titans Mobile, also sits at number three in the UK and US app stores.