Dell Tees Up Mobile Golf App at South by Southwest

'Dell Play Through' Lets Users Play Virtual Golf Through the City of Austin

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Dell, which is based in Round Rock, Texas, is launching a mobile golf app at South by Southwest, which lets users play a virtual round of golf through the city of Austin.

The app, called "Dell Play Through," is part of Dell's "Future Ready Campaign" which launched last year, and was created in partnership with Y&R New York, its sister agency VML and digital production studio MediaMonks. It is powered by Intel technology.

The game is also designed to coincide with Dell's sponsorship of the Match Play golf tournament, which will be held in Austin March 23-27.

"This app for Dell is really about putting technology in the hands of our customers," said Liz Matthews, executive director-corporate brand and purpose at Dell. "By turning the city of Austin into a real-time, data-driven golf course, we have created an interactive experience where people can learn about the city of Austin while playing."

The game lets players explore the city through a nine-hole golf course, laid out to include some of Austin's most famous landmarks, including the Paramount Theater, the Driskill Hotel and the Texas State Capitol.

Dell has partnered with Foursquare to provide details and ratings about some of the places golfers pass along the way and lets them save places as favorites.

"Austin has always been the hero of South by Southwest," said Leslie Sims, chief creative officer at Y&R New York. "We like the idea of giving people something that lets them experience the city a little differently this time. It really is an exercise in using Dell's technical capabilities to show what golf will look like in the future."

The virtual golf course was designed by Matt Ginella, travel and golf-course expert for the Golf Channel.

The game takes players through the city with a virtual street view that includes not just famous landmarks, but every building along the course. The course includes holes with names like "Stay Classy, Austin," and "Keep Hole 5 Weird."

"Dell Play Through" lets players select angles and irons based on factors such as real-time wind speed, then shoot by swiping the screen or physically swinging the phone. The app connects to Facebook so users can share their scores and challenge friends to a match.

"We wanted to launch it at South by Southwest because it's an intersection of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and fun," Ms. Matthews said. "We have people who come from all over the world to learn about interactive, see great films and hear music."

Dell is promoting the golf app with a video starring Mr. Ginella that's running on YouTube, the PGA website and its own website, as well as paid and organic social media. It will also promote the app through its booth at SXSW and with a team on the streets of Austin during the event, which runs from March 11-20 in Austin.

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