My previous employer Electronic Arts (EA) signed a major deal with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. EA Sports announced a multi-year endorsement contract that will see the Argentine become the global face of the EA Sports FIFA football franchise.
The FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 winner has transferred from the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise to EA Sports and makes his debut in March, 2012 on the cover of FIFA Street.
Matt Bilbey, Vice President and GM of Football, EA Sports, said: “Our FIFA franchise is the number one selling sports videogame franchise in the world, and Lionel Messi is the number one player in the world, so this agreement is a true partnership of superstars. With Messi on our team we have the world’s best and most exciting player to help EA Sports maintain its global leadership in the years ahead.”
Messi added: “I want to be part of the team behind the best sports game in the world and be associated with the great EA Sports name. EA Sports is a brand that shares my values of creativity, excellence and social responsibility.”
The multi-faceted partnership will see Messi become an EA Sports Ambassador. He will become the cornerstone of marketing and advertising campaigns, featured on packaging, and utilized in social media activities around the world for the critically acclaimed FIFA Soccer franchise.
EA Sports will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, educational and health care related initiatives for children around the world.
The EA Sports FIFA football series, now in its 19th year, sold a record-breaking 3.2 million copies of FIFA Soccer 12 in the first five days after launching to become the biggest launch in the history of sports videogames. [Source: I Sport Connect].
Very interesting move from EA to, not only sign Messi from its main competitor Konami, but to have the best player in the world in its portfolio. Although subjective, Messi is indeed one of the best player in the world, and it was odd not seeing him in the EA Sports athletes gang.
This said, I would like to point out two points.
First, the re-launch of the FIFA Street franchise in 2012. Great news for the FIFA Street fans. Secondly the timing of signing Messi was probably too late to feature him on FIFA12 covers, hence his presence on FIFA Street covers. Will be interesting to see the upcoming FIFA covers though.