SBD/Issue 124/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Electronic Arts Planning To Take All Ad Sales In-House This Year

EA Sports Will End Its Relationships With
In-Game Ad Companies Sometime This Year

Electronic Arts is “planning to take all of its ad sales in house, meaning that it will end its relationships with in-game ad companies Massive Inc. and IGA Worldwide sometime this year,” according to Mike Shields of MEDIAWEEK. Both IGA and Microsoft-owned Massive had used games like "Madden NFL," "NBA Live" and "Need For Speed" as "centerpieces of their ad sales strategies.” But EA Senior VP/Global Media Sales Elizabeth Harz said that "starting this summer with the release of Madden NFL 11, EA will be handling its own dynamic ad sales." Shields noted EA “has long worked with advertisers to incorporate product placements into games as they are published." But until recently it has "worked with outside vendors for placing ads into games as they are being played via a Web connection -- such as virtual in-stadium billboards within sports games.” Harz said that “combining such efforts would allow the company’s sales teams to offer more elaborate, integrated packages to advertisers.” The integration “should make it easier for buyers.” Wieden + Kennedy Digital Group Dir Greg March said of the move, “I love the idea of being able to talk to only one guy. That’s a logistical, procedural improvement, which should help” (MEDIAWEEK.com, 3/9).

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