SBD/September 9, 2010/Sponsorship

Shootout Mode: 2K Sports, EA Promote Rival Hockey Video Games

Take A Look Inside 2K Sports' "NHL 2K11" RV.
The NHL's two console video game licensees each held marketing events yesterday in N.Y. to herald the retail release of their respective titles. 2K Sports, which retooled its "NHL 2K11" to be a Wii-only release, completed a more than three-month promotional tour of the U.S. and Canada with a specially outfitted RV, covering more than 10,000 miles and reaching 15 NHL markets. The end of the tour culminated with Canucks C Ryan Kesler, the cover athlete for the game, and Devils C Travis Zajac meeting with fans, participating in a youth hockey clinic, and leading a media pickup hockey game. Company execs said the RV tour was successful in building awareness for this year's title, important for parent company Take-Two Interactive as EA's rival NHL simulation games have held a sizable advantage in recent years in critical renown and sales, helping prompt the 2K Sports decision to not produce a Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version of the game this year. 2K Sports Dir of Marketing Chris Snyder said, "We've learned a lot, and it's something we're really proud of. We're going to go back and evaluate everything that's happened on the tour over the summer, but it's a model we're definitely considering replicating for other titles." EA, meanwhile, held a somewhat similar promotional event at the NHL Store in Manhattan with Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews, cover athlete for "NHL 11," and teammate RW Patrick Kane. This year's version includes a new real-time physics engine powering the animation, and teams and players from the CHL to add to prior representations from the NHL and European pro leagues.
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