SBD/April 12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Vick, Hillis, Rodgers, Peterson Remain In Contest For "Madden NFL 12" Cover

Hillis during first two hours of voting received 58% of vote vs. Rodgers' 42%
The list of NFL players who could make the cover of EA Sports' "Madden NFL 12" video game has been narrowed to four: Browns RB Peyton Hillis, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Eagles QB Michael Vick. Hillis is taking on Rodgers in one of the semifinal matchups, with Peterson and "Madden 04" cover athlete Vick facing off in the other semifinal. Fan vote will determine the winner, to be announced on ESPN2's "SportsNation" later this month (Mult., 4/11). ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert cited sources as saying that Hillis during the first two hours of voting yesterday “received 58 percent of the vote to Rodgers’ 42.” The early lead “might have something to do with the fact that the Browns have made Hillis’ involvement the centerpiece” of their team website (ESPN.com, 4/11). But in Milwaukee, Tom Silverstein wrote, "Why this is such a big deal is beyond me, but people seem to think there’s a curse applied to the poor sucker who gets the honor" (JSONLINE.com, 4/11).

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted the "Madden" series “year after year and for more than 20 years ... has included excessively, remorselessly and even gleefully brutal football action.” Pro Football HOFer John Madden, the game's namesake who "off the air claimed to dislike showboating and taunting, had the forum and clout to help rid the game of the bad acts that began to permeate both NFL games and his video games." But the “only folks he regularly criticized on the air were NFL game officials.” EA Sports announced this year’s edition will sideline players who suffer concussions, and Mushnick wrote nearly 25 years after his first video game, Madden has “nobly decided to do what he should have insisted upon when he first put his name to the game and pocketed his first dime from it” (N.Y. POST, 4/10).
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