SBD/June 23, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Lightning Strikes: EA Sports Selects Steven Stamkos For Cover Of "NHL 12"

Stamkos unveiled as cover athlete for EA Sports' "NHL 12"
EA Sports last night at the annual NHL Awards show announced Lightning C Steven Stamkos as cover athlete of the "NHL 12" video game. Stamkos' image will appear on the "NHL 12" cover worldwide when the game hits stores this September (EA Sports). Stamkos said, "It's just something I've grown up playing my whole life. And to be on the cover is a pretty cool honour. ... You dream as a kid (of) playing in the NHL and now you're on the cover of the most popular NHL sports game out there. It's definitely icing on the cake, it's something I could never have imagined" (CP, 6/22). He added the video game has been “at the top of my Christmas list since I was six years old." He added, "I’ve been playing it a long time. ... I even bought the game last year and played with a couple of guys in Tampa. Big fan” (“2011 NHL Awards,” Versus, 6/22). In Toronto, Steve Tilley reports Stamkos "will be sporting his Lightning jersey on the game box, even though there’s a chance that, as a restricted free agent come July 1, he could be signed by another team before the game even goes on sale in September" (TORONTO SUN, 6/23).

NO JINX TO SEE HERE: In St. Petersburg, Damian Cristodero notes presence on the cover of "NHL 12" brings a "coincidental dark cloud similar to the one linked" to the "Madden NFL" franchise. But Stamkos said that he is "not superstitious in that way." Several of the game's early cover athletes -- including Eric Lindros, Owen Nolan and Mario Lemiuex -- either were injured or same a severe downturn in production during their cover season, but five of the past six "NHL 12" athletes "turned the cover into more of a lucky charm." Stamkos said, "Hopefully, I follow that trend" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/23).
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