Online world seeks out business relationships

Looking to connect with teens, the William Morris Agency has signed online virtual world Habbo as a new-media client.

Habbo, owned by Helsinki-based Sulake Corp., has been eager to hook up with entertainment players in order to offer its 8.6 million monthly users, who are mainly 12- to 16-year-olds, more tie-ins to movies, TV shows, music, sports leagues and celebrities.

Members personalize their avatars and create rooms in the virtual world where they interact with other teens.

William Morris will “play a crucial role in expanding the Habbo brand across North America by initiating for us new relationships with advertisers in the entertainment industry and developing high-profile promotional opportunities,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, exec VP of Habbo business and its prexy of North America.

Agency will also provide celebs and musicians for in-game interview appearances within the Habbo community.

Given its user base, Habbo could become a prime promotional platform for the entertainment biz that could also generate revenue from licensing in return.

Last month, Paramount Digital Entertainment inked a licensing deal with Habbo to create and sell virtual goods based on its pics. First up are “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “Beowulf” and “Mean Girls.”

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