Jun 04, 2012 at 02:56 PM
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How One Company Is Using Game Mechanics To Refresh A Six Year Old Sponsorship

Gaming is big business. So big in fact that all kinds of businesses/sponsors that you wouldn't normally associate with gaming are looking to in some way "gamify" their interactions with consumers - even stodgy old healthcare companies. So it stands to reason that those same companies would look for new ways to weave game layers into their tired old sponsorship activations. One of the largest players in healthcare is "gamifying" its giving and add a new twist to a longstanding $20,000 sponsorship.

Using new technology the company will provide 50 walkers with Fitbit Trackers (seen to the right) to measure their steps, distance walked and calories burned. In realtime, the trackers will show the walkers' total calories burned and match them with a cash contribution from the sponsor of $.50 per calorie. The unique activation is being promoted by longtime Calhoun Cancer Challenge sponsor, Cigna, under the tagline Burn Calories to Burn Cancer.

The challenge is part of Cigna's "gamification" initiative - using electronic devices and online tools as an engaging, interesting and fun way to help people improve their health.

"I hope our walkers can burn at least 10,000 calories - a highly attainable goal. If they do, that effort will add another $5,000 to Cigna's current generous $20,000 sponsorship contribution," said University of Connecticut men's basketball coach, Jim Calhoun. "Every calorie and every dollar counts!"

"Whether it's championship basketball or improving health, the setting of goals, providing motivation and incentives work," said Cigna President and Chief Executive, David Cordani. "Gamification is one of the recent innovations to help us measure and challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, as well as further a great cause."