Dallas Mavericks, HDNet owner looking to invest in branded social games

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It looks like the New York Jets soon won't be the only professional sports team with their own Facebook fan game. Billionaire Dallas Mavericks and HDNet owner Mark Cuban says he's looking to invest in social gaming projects surrounding his brands.

Cuban put out the call to social game developers in a recent post on his blog, then expanded a bit on his social gaming ideas in an interview with Forbes' Oliver Chiang. For the Mavericks, Cuban said he's looking for a social game that "the Mavs can be a part of" to engage fans and would-be fans. For HDNet, on the other hand, Cuban sees social gaming as a way to relieve employee boredom. "People in a lot of positions get bored to tears or lose interest in what they are doing," he told Forbes. "Social gaming can add some fun and competition to mundane clerical and other tasks."

For both projects, Cuban said he's seeking applications that are "not ... knockoffs of existing games/apps" and that are compatible with "Facebook and/or Itunes 10/Ping and all the devices they support."

But Cuban's ideas go beyond purely virtual games. Cuban blogged that he's also interested in "physical products that have integrated social gaming components," giving and example of a child's toothbrush that keeps track of usage via Bluetooth (sound familiar?)

Since the blog post last week, Cuban said he's already been approached by about 200 social gaming companies with ideas.
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