Jun 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM
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Google To Promote Play With Event Partnerships

Some of the biggest companies in tech are jockeying to be the digital hub of the consumer's cross-platform content consumption and more so than in the past that involves trying new marketing tricks like event sponsorship. While Amazon announced its first sports sponsorship today, upstart Google Play also seems poised to lean on event sponsorships. It's something new for tech companies like Google and Amazon, which haven't traditional been big sponsorship spenders.

Google Play was created when Google rebranded and merged its Android Market and Google Music services earlier this year. While awareness of the iTunes brand is nearly ubiquitous (iTunes generated $1.9 million in revenue in the second quarter alone this year), adding event partnerships to Google's marketing quiver could allow Play to create deeper connections directly with music fans, movie afficianados, gamers and other demographics. Play's goal, like iTunes, is to unify all media consumption into one general portal, but to compete with a massive incumbent that already has a huge share of the market a divide and conquer marketing strategy for each media vertical could help give it a shot. That would seem to be where targeted event partnerships would come in.

The Mountain View, California company is currently in the process of hiring a Social and Events Manager that will be tasked with among other things..

"Developing the marketing team’s events strategy for Google play. Negotiate marketing partnership deals with events organizers. Work cross functionally with the events team to execute events and sponsorships."

In the past, Google has primarily focused on partnership as a way to access exclusive content for YouTube, but launching a digital content store is a different beast as there are many competitors like Apple and Amazon (Facebook?) with similar offerings. Similarly, Google Play offers apps, games, books, movies and music.

By diverting broader media buys to targeted events that intimately engage the audiences of each respective channel (music, games, movies), could Play cobble together the massive awareness and affinity required to compete in the ultra-competitive digital store war? For properties in the music, movies and gaming spaces, it may be something worth keeping an eye on in the second half of 2012.