SBD/November 28, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

New Multiyear Contract Makes Lionel Messi Face Of EA Sports' FIFA Soccer Franchise

Messi will make his debut in March on the cover of "FIFA Street"
EA Sports has signed La Liga club Barcelona F Lionel Messi to a multiyear deal that will see him become the global face of the "EA Sports FIFA" soccer franchise. Messi will make his debut in March on the cover of "FIFA Street." He will become the cornerstone of marketing and advertising campaigns, featured on packaging and utilized in social media activities globally. EA Sports will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, education and health care related initiatives for children around the world (EA Sports). In London, Matt Lawless noted Messi was "once the poster boy for rival computer game Pro Evolution Soccer until he was replaced" by La Liga club Real Madrid F Cristiano Ronaldo for this year's version (London DAILY MAIL, 11/25). Messi's debut promotional video for the "FIFA" game will air prior to the game's release. In London, Jim Munro noted in the video, Messi's character "can be seen demonstrating all his familiar flicks and tricks." The camera "then pulls back to reveal the man at the controls is none other than Messi himself" (London SUN, 11/25).

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION: When asked what insights he has gained about leading and managing, EA CEO John Riccitiello said, "One of the things I would say is that you have to be absolutely genuine. You have to know what you truly believe and what you truly value, and it has to be undeniably consistent." He added, "You will fail. Failure is essential for success" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/27).
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