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Six Flags Announces Marketing Partnership With Nokia

By on 05/07/2012

Six Flags Logo

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation issued the following press release today:

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX) announced today an integrated marketing and mobile development partnership with Nokia to support the new Lumia 900 and debut a custom application for Six Flags guests for all U.S. locations.  The partnership will provide Nokia with marketing opportunities across the Six Flags parks through its Media Network. Additionally, Nokia and Six Flags will partner on national sweepstakes and retail promotions.

The centerpiece of the program is the development of a custom Six Flags application exclusively for Nokia Lumia consumers. The application will feature unique content for each participating Six Flags theme park, including an interactive map, information on attractions, food and shopping as well as special event listings, a custom day planner and video content from Six Flags TV.  In addition, the application will present owners with exclusive benefits such as Nokia Nightly Offers that provide discounts each night on select in-park retail, restaurant or games locations.

“This partnership exemplifies and takes advantage of our entire portfolio of marketing assets and provides an incredible benefit to our guests,” said David McKillips, senior vice president of corporate alliances for Six Flags Entertainment. “We are really excited to see the Nokia brand integrated into our parks and to deliver exclusive benefits to our guests.”

The entire press release can be found on Six Flags’ investor web site, located here.

I personally do not understand this partnership. Nokia is the world’s second largest manufacturer of mobile telephones in the world, commanding 22.5% of the global market share. However, the bulk of that is outside of the United States, where Six Flags has virtually no presence, and it’s made up of a large percentage of feature phones, or non-smartphones. Nokia is also in a financial mess right now. Their stock price has been plummeting for the last couple of years and they have already laid off 5,000 employees so far in 2012.

In an effort to further reduce costs, Nokia announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft in February 2011 to supply the mobile operating system in all but their low-end Nokia mobile phones. By using the Windows Phone operating system, Nokia will realize huge research and development savings. The Nokia Lumia series phones were the first to ship with the new Microsoft operating system.

The Nokia Lumia 900, which this partnership with Six Flags is based upon, is the latest version of that line and was launched with much fanfare on Easter sunday….when all the stores were closed. Whoops. It also shipped with a major software bug that caused data connectivity issues, however that has since been fixed with a software update.

For a Windows-based phone, the Lumia 900 has actually gotten some pretty solid reviews. However, it also has a number of knocks against it. For one, it has outdated specs compared to its competition, such as a low-res 480×800 screen. The color reproduction from the camera is poor and it’s got a very limited number of apps in its marketplace compared to the competition. Lastly, it relies on the Zune software from the failed Microsoft Zune media player to connect it to a computer.

What I don’t understand is why Six Flags chose Nokia to strike this type of a partnership with. Nokia is in a financial downward slide, their presence is mainly in markets where Six Flags is not, and the entire campaign is centered around a mobile phone with an extremely limited market share. Microsoft-based mobile phones held 13.4% of the mobile phone market way back in Q1-2007 and its been falling regularly ever since. As of the end of Q4-2011, all Microsoft-based mobile phones shared a 1.9% share of the total mobile phone market, with the Lumia 900 being a very small fraction of that. By comparison, phones based on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems share 74.8% of the mobile phone market and are rising, while RIM’s Blackberry and Nokia’s older Symbian-based phones share 20.5% of the market and are both falling fast. It seems to me that you’d want to hitch your application to an Android and/or iPhone.

When the press release says this partnership will provide “an incredible benefit to our guests,” there honestly cannot be that many park guests that will ever experience these benefits. Six Flags had previously released an app for the Apple iPhone called Six Flags Fun Finder which had many of these same features. I reviewed the app not long ago (here), but I did not realize at the time of my review that Six Flags had already pulled the app from the market and was reportedly working on something new. Unfortunately, it sounds like the new Six Flags app will only be available to an extremely limited number of park guests, and those of us with main stream phones will have to go without.

I’d like to hear from you. What do you think of this deal? Do you have or are you planning on getting a Lumia 900? Do you have an Android or iPhone that you would like them to provide an app for? Please leave a comment and let us know where you stand.


  1. Eric

    05/07/2012 at 10:27 pm

    I didn’t think that Nokia was still a big player in the cell phone market. At one time, yes, but the iPhone, Droid, etc. have bowled them over. I’m even trying to figure out the Nokia name on the theater in downtown L.A.

    My own phone is a Motorola Droid 2 Global. At one time, that model was the top of its game. It’s still a good phone, though there are better ones now.

    Were I Six Flags, I’d have gone with a different sponsor, but that’s me. But maybe Nokia is going to make a huge comeback. You never know…

    • Kurt

      05/07/2012 at 10:49 pm

      Yah, they’re still a pretty big player outside the U.S., but they’re falling fast.

  2. Mike M

    05/07/2012 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve been an Android user since the G1 and have wished this entire time that they would create an Android port of their iPhone app. The fact that they’ve actually gone the other way and pulled their iOS app in favor of a Nokia exclusive is idiotic, and is troubling in what it says about future choices they’ll be making 🙁

  3. jd

    05/08/2012 at 2:48 am

    Couldn’t agree more. Whats really dissapointing is how this doesnt surprise me at all. If u really wanna ask why they would do this your answer is simple…its Six Flags.

  4. Ryan

    05/08/2012 at 7:12 am

    I thought Nokia stopped making phones a LONG time ago. Im an Iphone user and always will be.

  5. Rory L. Aronsky

    05/08/2012 at 11:13 am

    Delurking to say that this makes no sense. Six Flags must think they’re operating in an alternate universe where Nokia and its phones are wildly popular, instead of in our universe.

  6. caleb

    05/08/2012 at 6:48 pm

    Simply put: Nokia is huge in Europe, but nothing here. In the U.S., everyone remembers Nokia for their late 90’s and early 00’s brick phone

  7. Zac

    05/08/2012 at 6:55 pm

    perhaps other cell phone companies did not want to strike a deal with six flags? Perhaps they didnt want to be named with six flags rather a Disney or Busch gardens.

  8. John

    05/10/2012 at 2:44 pm

    Who says they won’t realase an iPhone & android version this season?
    If your read this carefully, they are just talking about a sponsorship deal with an app.

    • Kurt

      05/10/2012 at 4:25 pm

      It’s a custom application developed “exclusively” for Nokia Lumia consumers. Many of the features they mention were a part of their former iPhone application, Fun Finder. Even if they do release an Android and/or iPhone application alongside this one, it can’t have the same features otherwise it will infringe on the exclusivity of the deal with Nokia. Therefore, I’m concluding that we won’t see an Android or iPhone version of the app until the deal with Nokia is over, if at all.

      • John

        05/11/2012 at 4:26 am

        True they won’t have the Nokia Nights offer section on the iPhone version, so I guess that part would be exclusive. But their online ticketing vendor Accesso does the mobile apps for cedar fair and many other venues. They could easily do a mobile ticket app and have all the same features, of course without the Nokia offers part.

  9. Pingback: New Android Smartphone App For Six Flags Magic Mountain |

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