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New Rovio hires show push for brand partnerships

Exec hires from Apple, Nokia and MTV will strengthen Angry Birds as an advertising destination

Rovio has strengthened its brand advertising partnership team with a string of new hires across North American and European territories.

In North America, Betsy Flounders Novak has joined the company as director of the West and Midwest. In her 20 year career Novak has worked with major brands through companies like MTV and ESPN. Matt Pfeffer has been hired as the director of the East Coast, leaving a position at the mobile ad company Millennial Media.

"The model of simply placing standard display ads in online and mobile properties is not necessarily strategic for the majority of tier one brands, and that model was in need of disruption," said Michele Tobin, head of North American brand advertising partnerships. "Rovio´s fan-first approach and engaged audience creates more native, integrated advertising experiences that more closely align to brands' overall marketing goals."

In Europe, Todd Tran has left the role of EMEA general manager of Apple's mobile advertising business to head up Rovio's European and Asia Pacific brand partnership ad team. He will be joined by Nokia and inMobi veteran Raphaelle Tripet.

"Brands and agencies in Europe and Asia want to work directly with scalable, next generation media companies, in unique ways," said Tran in a statement. "As a media platform, we have now achieved tier-one global reach and we have an opportunity to really pioneer true integrated cross platform brand experiences."

Rovio has categorised the hires as part of a broad transition to digital advertising as a key revenue stream. With more than 263 million MAUs for Angry Birds in December 2012, Rovio's key product has become an "important advertising destination" for other brands.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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