Date: 11.06.2013

Posted by: Jocasta Kelsey

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We R Interactive Reveals Football Industry Investment

-Backers include Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Jamie Carragher-

 

11th June, 2013 – London, UK: We R Interactive, a pioneering social entertainment company with products bringing over 12 million consumers closer to their passions of sport and music, today revealed, for the first time, that a range of past and present footballers are investing in the company.

Christian Purslow, former Chief Executive of Liverpool Football Club and Non-Executive Independent Director at We R Interactive, has led the fundraising in the football industry and assembled a group of 16 investors who have been playing a key role with the company over the past year, both in advising on products and appearing in them.  The news comes as We R Interactive embarks on its next round of corporate fundraising.

Past and present players investing in We R Interactive include Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard, England international Jordan Henderson, recently retired Liverpool defender and Champions League winner Jamie Carragher, former Scotland captain Gary McAllister and former Arsenal player and current ITV pundit Lee Dixon.

Gerrard, Carragher, Dixon, McAllister and Henderson all appear in We R Interactive’s lead product, I AM PLAYR, the only game that lets you live the life of a football player both on and off the pitch. Played by more than 11 million users across 200 countries and featuring talent including Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon, I AM PLAYR blends 3D game play with first-person perspective premium quality footage, creating an interactive story-telling experience through multiple real-world scenarios.

Some of the biggest brands in the world, including Nike, Red Bull and Gillette, are all are woven seamlessly around the core narrative of the game to drive product awareness and create deep levels of brand engagement.  I AM PLAYR is available via the web at iamplayr.com, or via Facebook at apps.facebook.com/iamplayr and across mobile (iOS and Android).

 Christian Purslow, Non-Executive Independent Director at We R Interactive commented:  "Given that the subject of our first game was living the life of a professional footballer we wanted to add real authenticity to it. So I spoke to some of my friends in football to give us that insight. They liked it so much that it resulted in significant investment from the football world.

"Some of the biggest names in football, including Steven Gerrard, and Jordan Henderson — who are the serving England captains at senior and Under-21 level — have appeared in our game and became shareholders too.

"We give them regular shareholder updates and all of our footballer-shareholders have played the game. But we’re not telling how good they are at it!"

 

Paul Whitehead, Commercial Director at We R Interactive added:  “We’re proud to have so many expert investors from football alongside our backers from the media, music and financial sectors.  Their backing is a reflection of both our creativity and a proven commercial model which blends user transactions with deep brand funded integrations ensuring our whole audience is monetised. 

“Importantly, the investors from the football industry have helped us ensure the experience is as real as possible for our users by both advising us on the narrative and rubbing shoulders with the 11 million players within the game.  Lee Dixon, for example, not only appears in the game as a pundit but has been closely involved with the development of scripts.  Putting experts at the heart of product development is a policy We R Interactive will continue to apply to all current and future social entertainment titles.  It’s an exciting time to invest in this emerging industry.” 

Other products from We R Interactive include the popular music video game LYROKE, which provides a new immersive way to interact with music, engage with artists and share the experience with friends. With talent including Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana Del Ray, LMFAO, No Doubt, The Saturdays and Timbaland featuring in the game, it was recently the number one music game in the Apple App Store across seven international markets and featured exclusively backstage at the BRIT Awards 2013 in London. LYROKE has just been announced as a finalist in the ‘Best Mobile Game’ category for the Mobile Entertainment Awards.

We R Interactive is backed by several high-profile figures from across sport, music, media, film and finance, including former leading City financier and MD of Liverpool FC Christian Purslow, music and games  industry veteran, Geoff Heath OBE, Elio Leoni-Sceti, former CEO EMI Music,  Peter Mead, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Eric Fellner, founder of Working Title Films.  

The full squad of football related investors is:

Steven Gerrard

Jordan Henderson

James Carragher

Lee Dixon

Jermain Defoe

Robbie Keane

Emile Hesky

Christian Purslow

Scott Parker

Aiden McGeady

Tim Cahill

Stewart Downing

John Arne Riise

Christopher Smalling

Fabian Delph

Gary McAllister

 For more information on We R Interactive, go to: werinteractive.com

***ENDS***

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Contacts for press:

We R Interactive:

Jessica Burling / Chris Olarinoye

E: Jessica.burling@havas-se.com / Chris.olarinoye@havas-se.com

T: +44 (0) 20 7759 2061 / +44 (0) 20 7393 2638

 

About We R Interactive

We R Interactive is a pioneering social entertainment company.  It fuses premium-quality film production and interactive storytelling underpinned by game mechanics to create unique, shareable experiences that bring millions of people around the globe closer to their passions of sport and music.

We R Interactive’s first releases - I AM PLAYR, in which players can live the life of a professional footballer, and LYROKE, the music video game - are unique multi-platform games that offer fans a new way to interact with football and music.

Over 11 million users from more than 200 countries already play football game, I AM PLAYR. The game features top football talent such as Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Aaron Lennon and Scott Parker and global brand partners include Nike, Gillette, Alfa Romeo, Betfred and Red Bull.

Global deals for LYROKE, the music video game, are in place with Universal Music UK, Sony and EMI Music and talent featured includes  Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Ray, LMFAO, No Doubt, One Republic, The Saturdays, Timbaland and more.

We R Interactive is backed by several high-profile figures from across sport, music, media, film and finance, including former leading City financier and MD of Liverpool FC Christian Purslow, music and games  industry veteran, Geoff Heath OBE, Elio Leoni-Sceti, former CEO EMI Music,  Peter Mead, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Eric Fellner, founder of Working Title Films.  

The proprietary platforms developed by We R Interactive have been recognised by a series of awards, including a prestigious Cannes Lion Gold Award in 2012.

werinteractive.com

About I AM PLAYR

Play the Life of a Professional Footballer

I AM PLAYR is an award-winning football game that lets the user play the life of a professional footballer, both on and off the pitch.   It fuses 3D gaming, with premium quality first person video, film production and interactive story-telling to create a unique game that brings football fans closer to their passion. 

Global Audience

Since launching in October 2011, I AM PLAYR has built a large global audience of more than 11 million users from more than 200 countries.  The game continues to attract more than 30,000 new players every day, with users spending an average of 52 minutes per day playing the game.

Authentic Brand Integrations

Brands are woven seamlessly around the core narrative of I AM PLAYR to drive product awareness and deep levels of brand engagement.   Established brand partnerships include Nike, Red Bull, Betfred, Alfa Romeo and Gillette.  Since launch, more than 600,000 pairs of Nike boots have been purchased, 210 years worth of Nike-branded stories have been experienced and 380 million training drills powered by Red Bull have been completed in the game. 

Top Football Talent

Top football talent including Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Aaron Lennon and Scott Parker are woven into the gameplay and narrative of I AM PLAYR. Lee Dixon and Andy Townsend also make cameo appearances in the game’s Goal Mouth Show, and Gary McAllister appears to provide coaching tips and advice. 

Football Fans can Play Anytime, Anywhere

Football fans can play I AM PLAYR anytime, anywhere via the web at iamplayr.com, or via Facebook at apps.facebook.com/iamplayr and on mobile (iOS and Android).  

About LYROKE

Play Official Full-Length Music Videos from World’s Biggest Artists

LYROKE is a first-of-its kind music video game streaming full length official music videos from some of the world’s biggest recording artists including Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ellie Goulding, Kaiser Chiefs, Lana Del Ray, LMFAO, No Doubt, One Republic, The Saturdays, Timbaland and more.

It provides music fans a new interactive experience to play along to their favourite artist’s tracks, guessing the lyrics against the clock and challenging other music fans.  LYROKE uniquely provides a new immersive way to consumer and interact with music, engage with artists and share the experience with friends.

LYROKE claimed the number one spot in the music game category in the Apple App store at launch in the UK and 6 other European markets, top 10 in 15 markets worldwide and the number 2 spot in the US.

New Incremental Revenue Stream for Music Industry

For the music industry, LYROKE offers a unique commercial opportunity, delivering new incremental revenue.   With global partnerships in place with Universal Music UK, Sony and EMI Music, LYROKE has secured the full support of copyright owners and further global music industry partnerships will be announced in the near future. 

Music Fans can Play Anytime, Anywhere

Music fans can play LYROKE anytime, anywhere at lyroke.com, on Facebook at apps.facebook.com/lyrokegame, on Apple iPhones and iPads via the App Store and on Android.

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