Gamefam announced last week that it was partnering with the NFL on a special activation: A SpongeBob-themed Super Bowl event within several of its popular games in Roblox. This event is a continuation of Gamefam’s previous collaboration with the NFL, which includes last year’s Saweetie concert and its Super NFL Tycoon game. The event launched on February 2 and will run through February 19, past the end of Super Bowl LVIII.
The SpongeBob-themed event is in the recently launched SpongeBob Simulator, as well as several of Gamefam’s other games: Easy Obby, Super NFL Tycoon, Twilight Daycare and TMNT Battle Tycoon. Each game features a number of different Super Bowl and SpongeBob-related quests. Players complete challenges for a number of different prizes, including wearable cosmetics related to the event.
Parker Bennett, Gamefam’s associate manager of brand partnerships, spoke to GamesBeat about building the in-game event. “The whole basis around the event is ‘The Super Bowl comes to Bikini Bottom.’ So we wanted to bring a mashup of SpongeBob and Super Bowl LVIII across all five titles. You really feel like you’re in Bikini Bottom and the Super Bowl is there while you’re playing these games … All these games have large audiences built into them — there are sports fans within Roblox. They really get to experience the Super Bowl in-game in a fun and engaging way they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
Approaching a younger generation via Roblox
The benefit for the NFL, says Bennett, is that the Roblox event helps promote the Super Bowl to a younger audience who might otherwise ignore the game in favor of Roblox. This echoes the sentiment of CEO Joe Ferencz, who said of the SpongeBob event, “As Roblox continues to scale, we’re seeing a tremendous opportunity to amplify the biggest IRL moments for Gen Z and Alpha. Building on our successful work with the NFL, we’re excited to super-charge our program by bringing one of the world’s biggest cultural touchpoints to a new audience on Roblox, with the goal of immersing the next generation of NFL fans in the craze of Super Bowl.”
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Alli Guglielmino, Gamefam’s SVP of growth, told GamesBeat in the same interview that one of the goals for the developer is authenticity, and not alienating players uninterested in the Super Bowl. “We want to make sure the experience is extremely authentic to players and the game itself. We don’t want anything to feel like it’s not a part of the normal gameplay experience… . It’s still exactly the same gameplay, but it’s just adding these fun and whimsical elements to it.”
Ed Kiang, VP of video games at the NFL, concurred with this sentiment in a statement, “The NFL continues to meet fans where they are and metaverse gaming has proven to be a successful avenue for the league in achieving that … Bringing together the NFL with SpongeBob and TMNT to Roblox’s over 70M daily users further demonstrates how the NFL is working to reach new audiences while engaging existing fans with entertaining and innovative activations tied to the NFL’s largest tentpole event.”
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