Bleacher Report ARG

The goal of this project, a cross-department collaborative effort, was to pitch an interesting, new way to expose and connect audiences with Turner’s newly created Bleacher Report Live sports platform. By creating an Alternate Reality Game (a story-driven scavenger hunt that touches physical and digital spaces), B/R Live would provide a unique experience to new users that would both establish a loyal fan base and help people understand the ins and outs of what the platform provides.

Crafting A Story

In order to create a truly immersive storyline that players would engage with, it was important that the narrative made cohesive sense from start to finish. In writing the narrative, I always had two goals in mind. The first was that each point of interaction had to directly involve a function of the Bleacher Report Live app (to serve the purpose of getting people to use and understand how the platform worked.) The second was that the overall storyline had to feel cohesive and plausible at every point in order to initially draw users in with intrigue and keep them there without breaking immersion until the very end of the game.

Designing The Mysterious

The players’ first contact with the secret society comes in the form of a letter. When creating the visual identity for this society, I wanted to capture both a sense of history and modernity; this was an organization with a long and fabled past, but one that was very much alive in the present. I achieved this balance by utilizing a minimal, yet mysterious illustration style in tandem with a simple sans-serif typeface.

Guiding Interaction

Once players were guided to the B/R Live app, it was important that all future interactions within the storyline focused on helping the user grow accustomed to the platform, its functions, and become engaged in its ecosystem to ensure maximum retention after the game concluded.

The first example of this is players finding a hidden hub page (a modified version of a typical¬†League page) containing an AI that seemed to be recording statistics and guarding a password-protected database. After finding this database, players chase the AI across various places in the app, interacting with the app’s core functionality of watching games both live and as replays. The result is tracking down codes that unlock¬†various files that provide backstory to the society and progress the game forward.