Many pundits believe the shopping cart symbol is an essential addition to the Harvey Norman website to revive the former retail king, but Gerry Harvey is still holding off. However, the chain has now shown that they at least know the internet exists, signing a big partnership with website ad manager Urban Geek Media, in an effort to boost Harvey Norman’s video game sales.

Urban Geek Media (UGM) plants the ads for numerous websites aimed at males, like Ultimate Fighting Championship’s official site, CollegeHumour, and Dailymotion, and claims to have the eyeballs of 1.3 million Australian gamers. 

UGM marketing director Drew Parkes says the partnership with Harvey Norman is more than just an ad buy.

“We’ve gone into a partnership, Harvey Norman are now the exclusive gaming retailer across our sites,” Parkes tells Marketing magazine. “They’ve got a media agreement across the next 12 months, and it’s also a sponsorship agreement, where there’s deeper integration into the promotions and events we run for gamers.”

UGM will also jazz up Harvey Norman’s gaming section online, adding content like videos and reviews to help drive presales that can be reserved online, but must still be picked up in-store.

The partnership is a baby step for most companies, but for Harvey Norman, the once crown jewel of the retail world that has stoically refused to come to the online party and even demanded higher taxes for web competitors, it’s a big move in the right direction.

What do you think is the next step for Harvey Norman? Do they need to sell products online? Do they need to slash their in-store markups? Connect with Marketing magazine on twitter via @Marketingmag