SBD/Issue 20/Sports Industrialists

This Week's Newsmakers: EA Sports Scores Big With "FIFA Soccer 11"

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:


WIN: "FIFA SOCCER 11" -- Apparently World Cup fever continues to be an epidemic, as Electronics Arts' soccer title assumes the title of "fastest-selling sports video game ever" this week. EA has sold 2.6 million copies of the game one week after its release, which is up around 29% from last year. Aided by strong acclaim from critics, the soccer game has now passed "Madden NFL" as the company's biggest-selling title on a global basis. EA also scores points on the comedy front with Suns G STEVE NASH and MLS Galaxy F LANDON DONOVAN, who lend themselves to a viral marketing campaign for EA's Pro Player Challenge, which aims to identify the best "FIFA Soccer 11" player among pro soccer players.

LOSE: ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT -- After closing out a ’10 IndyCar season that sees the team fail to have a car factor into the season-long points championship, Andretti Autosport is facing the loss of the primary sponsors for its two best performers. TONY KANAAN is parting ways with long-time partner 7-Eleven, and sources say Izod will not return to RYAN HUNTER-REAY’s ride. With CHIP GANASSI and ROGER PENSKE continuing to dominate the open-wheel circuit, the potential loss of two quality drivers could make AA one of the sport’s have-not teams.

DRAW: RYDER CUP -- The event stumbles out of the gate as a massive downpour in Wales washes out most of the first day, but not before the U.S. team is forced to hit the merchandise tent to replace its faulty rain gear. The rain returns over the weekend, prompting the first Monday action in the 83-year history of the Ryder Cup. But the event gets the exciting finish it needs Monday afternoon as RICKIE FOWLER and the U.S. team come from behind and nearly pull off an improbable upset. Looking ahead, the PGA Tour reportedly has committed to amending its schedule in order to hold future Ryder Cups in early September when the weather is less likely to wreak havoc.

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