The folks at 2K Sports understand their audience, and that has a great deal to do with the success of the franchise over the last 10-plus years.
The most recent evidence of that is the release of the Most Valuable Players trailer featuring cover athlete and NBA MVP Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and a few faces you may only recognize if you're a part of the huge NBA 2K community on YouTube.
IpodKingCarter, QJB, Sub The Gamer and Nick the Bulls Fan are four of the most popular YouTube personalities in the sports video gaming world, and naturally, the NBA 2K series gets heavy rotation on their channels.
The foursome have over 664,000 subscribers combined, so their influence and expertise speaks volumes with the NBA 2K community.
The decision-makers at 2K Sports understand that, and they have continued to reach out to members of the YouTube community to promote their product over the last three years.
A large portion of the folks who play the game know IKC, QJB, Sub and Nick as online (but accessible) superstars. Seeing them in the game's promotional process is like seeing one of their own represented in a commercial.
Hardcore IKC followers might find themselves saying: "Whaaat...they put Carter in the video with KD? That's sick."
It truly is.
Dave Oshry, the CEO of New Bloods had a very similar response.
You think it wasn't a huge thrill for these hardcore gamers to be featured in an NBA 2K ad? I asked Nick via Twitter what it was like to see himself in the NBA 2K video and commercial, and he said:
It was honestly the most unbelievable experience of my entire life. I would have never expected to get an opportunity to help promote a game that I love and play so much. It is really incredible to see myself on TV with Kevin Durant and other commentators I look up to.
It is honestly a dream come true, and I am humbled to get the opportunity from 2K to be a part of this awesome commercial.
This type of thing effectively bridges the gaps between companies and their consumers. That said, it wouldn't work if the game was no good.
Despite a few online stumbles with NBA 2K14 on generation-four consoles, the game was critically acclaimed and downright awesome.
It set the bar for visual excellence for the first wave of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles. Gamers can only hope NBA 2K15 is just as good, if not better.
Stay tuned—it releases October 7.
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