SBD/March 12, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hail To The Victor: Denard Robinson To Be On Cover Of EA Sports' "NCAA Football 14"

Robinson will be the cover athlete for EA Sports' "NCAA Football 14"
Former Univ. of Michigan QB Denard Robinson will appear on the cover of EA Sports' "NCAA Football 14" after beating former Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope "in an intense final round of Facebook voting" that concluded Friday, according to Kyle Meinke of ANNARBOR.com. Robinson becomes the third former UM player to "grace the cover of the video game," joining Heisman Trophy winners Charles Woodson ('97) and Desmond Howard ('06). An EA Sports spokesperson said that Robinson will "receive no compensation for winning the vote." However, Meinke notes he and the UM brand "certainly stand to benefit from the exposure." UM made a "hard push to land Robinson on the cover, including initiating an intense social media campaign." The announcement of the winner was delayed until today while EA Sports "checked into reports of fraudulent voting practices." EA did "not release the final tally, but did say more than 250,000 votes were cast, and that Robinson received more than half." The final round of voting included some "irregularities" which "amounted to reported voting bots for Swope." Fake Facebook accounts were "being created to pad his total" (ANNARBOR.com, 3/12).

MADDEN MADNESS: The 64 current and former NFLers competing to be on the cover of EA Sports' “Madden NFL 25” were revealed yesterday on ESPN2’s “SportsNation.” The contest features 32 current players and 32 former players. ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley noted the game’s Silver Anniversary and said, “We have a new-school-versus-old-school theme to this year’s vote.” 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Pro Football HOFer Jerry Rice helped reveal the brackets, with both appearing in the brackets as No. 1 seeds. ESPN’s Charissa Thompson: “This is more of a popularity contest, so keep that in mind when you guys are voting” (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 3/11).
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