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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Nov 11 2011 2:46am
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It's been a busy week for me.  I've had major tests and papers due this week and it's becoming clear to me that the end of the semester is rapidly approaching.  I still have a book review and a paper due for my History of Kentucky class, and another huge paper for my Sociology class.  I'm not looking forward to writing any of them, but when I am done I'll finally have some time for myself.  On top of that I had to take pre-interview tests for a job here and I've been nervously waiting to hear back from the company.  I guess it's just been a bad time for me and Magic.  I've got decks that need to be updated (Is Wolf Run Robots better than the RG version?  I'd imagine that it is because of the inclusion for more blocked for Mirran Crusader.) but sadly lack the cards to do so.  I have old versions of Token Town (Yeah the deck has zero copies of Elspeth Tirel and new Garruk) and Red Green Wolf Run (Which sadly has been getting housed in local events because people have decided that Mirran Crusader wearing Angelic Destiny is the best thing ever, which I am jealous of because those cards seem like a real hoot to play with) built.  My budget has allowed me to draft Innistrad three times and each time has been more fun than the last. I know I am missing out on a lot of fun, but I guess I just have to cope.   On top of that, I still need cards from Magic 2012 and Innistrad for my Animar EDH deck.  

Commander is actually why I wanted to tonight.  Not the format as much as the preconstructed decks that WotC produced.  You see, since the internet has been installed in my apartment, I've been able to stay up to date on my twitter feed.  I follow a wide variety of people on the social networking site and they range from my magic playing friends (and WotC people) to sports writers (Peter King, one of the influences of this article is one of my favorites) to the athletes that they cover.  @ChrisWarcraft is one of the people that I follow who fits into the latter category. 

ChrisWarcraft is the twitter name of the current punter of the Minnesota Vikings (Who by the way are my favorite football team.  It's been a rough season to say the least.) Chris Kluwe is very active on twitter and in the gaming community in general.  He was a member of the Flying Hellfish (a top ranked guild in the World of Warcraft.)  and has made radio appearances for a weekly video game segment on KFAN in the Twin Cities.  Chris also plays Magic. 

So what has me talking about a football player on a magic website?  Well earlier this week Chris tweeted this picture and mentioned @mtgonline (This is the account that Worth Wollpert uses on twitter)

Yep, that is my son in an Adrian Peterson jersey.  (I'm in a Randy Moss throwback)

You see, I saw this picture of my favorite running back (Yeah sure I'm thirty one years old and enjoy sports.  Make fun of me for it later.) holding an EDH deck and my marketing juices started to flow. 

I'm not sure if AP even plays Magic the Gathering.  I would assume that he would at least give the game a chance though.  He (along with Kluwe) is a gamer (Having participated in an Assassin's Creed game against the Green Bay Packers recently)  It's entirely possible that EDH is a nice way to blow off steam.  

This is Adrian Peterson (running back of the Minnesota Vikings) holding a Mirror Mastery Commander deck. 

(Image used with permission, credit to Chris Kluwe)

When I saw this picture the first thought in my mind was sweet, AP is playing Animar.  He clearly knows what is going on!  (Again let's just assume that Chris has taught him how to play). The second thing on my mind was I sure would like to play with the two of them.  For me playing Magic with best punter in the NFKL and the best running back (Biased I know but this is my article) would be a heck of an experience!  Then it dawned on me.  Magic could use the celebrity magic player to their advantage! 

Sure the cast of Robot Chicken (Clare Grant and Seth Green pop off to me off the top of my head) are huge fans of the game and that is great.  Bill Stark wrote a great piece about them playing at Pro Tour San Diego.  Seth Rogan did a skit on Saturday Night Live that implied he used to play Magic.  I sold Rob Van Dam magic cards while I worked for a store in Louisville Kentucky.  Wil Wheaton has blogged about playing Magic.  Sergey Lukyanenko (Russian author, thanks mtgsalvation.com!) Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time writer, well the person who is finishing up Robert Jordan's work) plays Magic. I would think it would be safe to assume that these celebrities play magic on a casual level, and that's just fine by me. 

How could magic capitalize on this?   

In the past sponsor’s exemptions have existed to get players like Dave Williams (himself a celebrity, who I think has got other poker players into Magic) and back on to the Pro Tour.  With the new changes to the Pro Tour a sponsor’s exemption to the tour would not be the best use of their star power.  No spectators are around and while it would be easier for the media to access these famous people and possibly make the brand more main stream I do not think it would be the best.  They have their own projects to do and preparing for the Pro Tour does not seem like something a mainly casual player would want to do. 

What about Grand Prixes?  In my mind Grand Prixes would be a great place to host these celebrities.  Since Pro Tours are closed to the public now, you could move the gunslinging stuff to the Grand Prix level.  During the Grand Prix players could have the option to gunsling with a celebrity.  Say in Grand Prix Minneapolis you could battle Chris Kluwe and Adrian Peterson in EDH.  The media could come get a nice human interest story out of it, and the brand grows some.  WotC could even build the decks that the celebritys use and create special cards just for them.  They could add a personal touch (like making a Viking for Chris when he played)  Winning players could get an autographed copy of the card or what not.  Adding the sparkle of a celebrity to the mix increases the appeal.  World of Warcraft did a rather successful ad campaign that did this.  I mean Mister T was a NIGHT ELF MOHAWK.   

Maybe having a guest appearance at each Grand Prix for a Celebrity Challenge is a bit much.  Maybe WotC could make a similar ad campaign.  There has to be some way to take advantage of this right? 

I've rambled on too much about this, but thanks for sticking through the article! 

Various other news

There is another malware alert for MTGO.  MTGO Library Bot contains a security issue that has left users with out a collection.  For more information you can go here http://community.wizards.com/magiconline/blog/2011/11/09/bot_malware_alert

What to Watch for. 

World of Warcraft is hosting their World Championships in Amsterdam this weekend.  Glenn Jones is out there battling (Glenn is neat person that works at Starcity on the SCGLive side of the business)

Grand Prix San Diego is the last Grand Prix of the season and last major event before Worlds.  It is Innistrad Sealed deck.

No StarCity Opens until December.  If you're looking for a PTQ in your area I suggest you check out mtgmom.com  Great site there!

Tweet of the Week

All of these come from @mtgaaron
who is Aaron Forsythe (Director of R&D) and he has been knocking out concerns about the OP changes on his twitter account.  (read from bottom to top, I copy pasted this in time line form) 

...That particular complaint is being heard loud and clear on this end.

That said, our "perfect storm" of changes seems to have reduced those communities' access to Premier Play a bit too drastically...
Something like Nationals should exist once the base is healthy.
The effort/money put towards Nationals would be better spent growing the number and quality of stores.
Overall player growth was stagnant/down in many small markets where Nationals was the focus of Organized Play.

Finally,  if you want to follow Chris Kluwe on twitter his handle is @ChrisWarcraft.  He's also the bass player in Tripping Icarus.  You can check them out here at trippingicarus.net. 

Thanks again for reading this week!  Have fun over the weekend and thanks for dealing with my bit of fanboyism.  Skol Vikes! 

Joshua Claytor
@joshuaclaytor on twitter
SorryMsJackson on MTGO.  

 

5 Comments

wow nice Rob "the whole by Salgy at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 09:22
Salgy's picture

wow nice Rob "the whole effing show" van dam a ECW legend plays magic that was a shocker to me. And yes it would be bad ass to play a game against one of NFL greatest running backs Adrian Peterson. I do not like the Vikings at all but AP is a top rated RB. And I do agree MTG needs to get on the advertising side again and respark MTG. I remember years back when I was going to school espn would show Magic worlds event and stuff and than all of a sudden it just stopped. While games like yugioh are offering bigger prize payouts with game consoles and IPODs and all kinds of other stuff for their tourny winners.

apaulogy's picture
5

Good one again, sir.

I am not a sports fan (like at all), but I think you have made a good point here. Celebrity Invitationals. I personally would want to kick the entire Stoopid Monkey production teams' asses if I had a choice (I AM GUNNIN' FOR YOU, SETH GREEN!!!).

Mr T. being a Night Elf Mohawk, in C minor

I think it would have to be by country hillbilly at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 13:48
country hillbilly's picture
5

I think it would have to be cerebral athletes, as there are some smart ones...

Ryan Fitzpatrick - Bills QB
Myron Rolle - S Tenn Titans

I'm sure there are many more but it is early and those two jumped out...

Liked the article bud, good job!

Zach

I enjoyed the article as I am by Raddman at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 15:50
Raddman's picture
5

I enjoyed the article as I am a huge sports nut ( Go Buckeyes!). Having said all that, I agree with CB's post. In order for a celebrity thing to go down it better be celebrities with brains. Do you really think AP would want to get destroyed by a zit faced young kid? I don't think that kind of exposure would benefit an athlete like him, nor would his agent recommend it.

I think him promoting the product would be more than enough pull for the game to market to people other than your typical magic player.

After all, there are normal, family guy, sports addicted nuts that play this game (like me!).

Good article Josh by Rerepete at Sat, 11/12/2011 - 15:39
Rerepete's picture
4

One little request, if you had some sort of seperator for the twitter feed, it would have made that part a bit easier to read (indent, font change, bold/italics, or ruler lines)