United Distillers backs pub football interactive game

United Distillers is backing a new interactive five-a-side football pub game due to launch this autumn. But the launch has had to be scaled down because other sponsors have failed to emerge.

The company’s Bell’s brand will back the computer-based game, which allows players to play the game on a pub’s large screen. The technology allows people to play each other using infra-red handsets in the pub – nationally or internationally. The football game currently has a working title of The Game.

The Game was developed by Manchester-based company Kai San, a subsidiary of Satvision, the largest supplier of large screens to the pub and leisure trade. Last year it had a turnover of 5m.

The company had planned to launch 150 sites in September, rising to 600 sites by June 1998. However, because so far only Bell’s has supported the game, the September launch will be scaled down to 30 sites around the country. The Daily Star has agreed promotional support when the game is installed in 150 pubs.

Phillip Vigerstaff, managing director of Kai San (which is Japanese for continual improvement), says: “We just need to get one more sponsor on board to get back on schedule. The game itself works fantastically well.”

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