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Contrary to somewhat popular belief, you can’t just slap a brand on a project and expect it to mitigate risk.

The “de-risking” prospect, as described by Chris Petrovic, is one of the more unfortunate misconceptions about brand integration. The senior vice president and head of corporate development and licensing at Kabam recently chatted briefly with us over the phone prior to his breakout panel on the power of integrating brands into game projects during next week’s GamesBeat 2015.

Petrovic is a frequent speaker at GamesBeat events. Next week’s program — hosted at the San Francisco Grand Hyatt Union Square October 12 and 13 — is the latest platform to, according to Chris, “expand in the realm” they consider themselves thought leaders in. Petrovic’s role at Kabam backs up this lofty estimation. Petrovic confirmed that the company’s recent iOS and Android launch of Star Wars: Uprising will provide ample discussion material for the session.

Slapping a brand on a mobile project doesn't always de-risk it, according to Kabam's Chris Petrovic.

Above: Slapping a brand on a mobile project doesn’t always de-risk it, according to Kabam’s Chris Petrovic.

The failure of past integration of major, even globally-recognized, IP is not always easy to target. Common problems like over-protective IP holders will no doubt factor into some major dialogue at the event. But an often overlooked symptom of brand misfire — in Petrovic’s estimation — is the evolution of the fan-creator relationship.


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“Fans have twenty-four seven access to brands,” said Petrovic. “[With that comes] higher opportunity to engage, higher risk.”

When fans of a TV show can talk with its creators on Twitter, keep up-to-date with production notes on a variety of news sites and forums, and often revisit any portion of its previous run on streaming services, the potential for a brand management misstep is often more dramatic than the possibility for success. And with an increasingly global demand for branded experiences, someone is demanding access every minute of the day.

“We are about as real-time in our engagement [as we can be] globally,” Petrovic said.

Hammering that lesson home will likely be just one of the many facets of brand integration discussed during the Brands panel at GamesBeat 2015. Petrovic and Kabam seem to take their position as thought leaders seriously, and Chris hopes to live up to that moniker next week.

“One of the things I try to do is impart at least a few cents worth of perspective to at least one person in the audience,” said Petrovic.

If you’d like to grab a seat for said perspective, be sure to register for GamesBeat 2015 while you still can.


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