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Award winning sitcom around MMORPG players now in third series. Written by Buffy actress Felicia Day. Now sponsored by mobile phone company Sprint and distributed by X-Box. A perfect match of talent, subject and platform?

When TV execs found the subject matter too niche, established US actress Felicia Day decided to self-fund the Guild as a web series. When the money ran out they added a donate button and the following two episodes were funded largely by audience donations topped up with money from a a sponsor.

The second series was picked up by Microsoft Advertising who brought in an exclusive sponsor, phone company Sprint and distribute it via X-Box LIVE – a platform used exclusively by gamers.

According to Microsoft Advertising:
“Sprint was looking for a meaningful way to interact with its audience for the newly launched, high-end Samsung InstinctTM phone. Their goal was to reach male, early adopting data enthusiasts, who rated entertainment and gaming as important lifestyle choices.

In conjunction with the global launch of the Xbox LIVE® independent video channel, Sprint strategically positioned itself as the exclusive sponsor of the “The Guild,” a popular Internet series about online gamers.

The campaign exceeded expectations with: 2.1 million Sprint sponsored “The Guild” episode downloads from Xbox LIVE and a 40% lift in traffic on the website after the launch of the Xbox LIVE campaign advertisers’ results are based on individual factors.”