There’s no reason that the massive popularity of the NFL can’t be used to help its younger fans learn something too.
That’s the idea behind the partnership between JumpStart, the company behind the School of Dragons online and mobile game and a leader in learning-based games, and America’s most popular pro sports league. Under the terms of the strategic relationship announced this week, JumpStart will manage NFL RUSH ZONE, the league’s online gaming world for kids, and the result will be a variety of games with an educational slant across a number of platforms.
“Our NFL relationship and exclusive license to develop youth-focused learning-based games for the organization is incredible validation of the JumpStart team and technology platforms,” JumpStart CEO David Lord said in a staement. “We’re committed to helping the NFL reach its youngest generation of fans by giving this audience an unbelievably engaging and educational gaming experience.”
The first game to spring from this deal is already out, just in time for the 2014 NFL season. NFL RUSH GameDay Heroes is a free game that allows (and encourages) players of all ages to compete against each other in eight mini-games over local wi-fi. The mini-games feature activities like guesing team logos, filling up football balloons with water and swiping to kick footballs through the goal posts, while power-ups and the Golden Football add to the fun.
NFL RUSH GameDay Heroes is a free download from the iOS App Store or Google Play for Android. A second game, NFL RUSH Heroes & Rivals, is also due out later this week, and will challenge kids to represent their favorite teams and use strategy and smarts to earn as many fans as possible.
JumpStart will also be helping to further develop the NFL RUSH ZONE site and online community, so it’s fair to say that the first two games are only the beginning of what both parties hope will be a productive and educational partnership.
“We are excited to work with JumpStart to help bring our youngest fans closer to the game they love and introduce our game to new fans,” NFL executive vice president and chief marketing officer Mark Waller said in a statement. “We created NFL RUSH ZONE in 2007 in order to help build the next generation of NFL fans and engage our youngest fans in new ways. Working with JumpStart will allow us to go deeper and provide more ways for families to connect around football every day and night of the week.”