EA Sports yesterday announced that it is giving fans an opportunity to vote on which golfer will join Tiger Woods on the cover of "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13." Fans can participate in a bracket-style voting campaign involving 16 golfers on the game franchise's official Facebook page. Eight U.S. golfers are featured on one side of the bracket, with eight European golfers on the other side. Voting runs through Oct. 23, with the winner to be announced via Facebook on Oct. 24 (EA Sports).
DIFFERENT CONTINENT, DIFFERENT COVER: GOLF.com’s David Dusek noted there will be two versions of the game. The "winner of the eight-man American bracket will be featured with Woods on the next version of the game sold in the United States; the European winner will appear with Woods on the European version." Both versions “will be available starting in March 2012.” EA Sports Dir of Marketing Craig Evans said, "We thought, 'How can we get fans involved in our marketing?' Then we decided that one way was to allow them to help us pick out the guys who are going to join Tiger on the cover." Dusek noted the 16 players “were chosen based on a combination of FedEx Cup points, Race For Dubai rankings, Official World Golf Rankings and something EA Sports calls ‘Fandom.’” The last factor “takes into account a player's popularity on Twitter, Facebook and the traffic on his personal Web site” (GOLF.com, 10/3). Evans said, “You never know what will happen when you put these things out for a vote. I think the Madden guys would tell you that they never would have thought Peyton Hillis would have gone on to win their contest" (GOLFWEEK.com, 10/3).
Nike and adidas have “expressed confidence that their growing hoops businesses can still thrive” despite the ongoing NBA lockout, according to Erik Siemers of the PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL. While analysts agree that “demand for basketball shoes should withstand the NBA’s ongoing labor dispute, the same can’t be said for sportswear -- particularly licensed apparel.” And that “spells trouble” for adidas, which is in the “fifth year of a reported $400 million, 11-year deal to be the NBA’s official uniform and apparel supplier.” It is unclear whether adidas’ contract with the league “offers any contingency plans in the event of a work stoppage.” adidas VP/Global Basketball Lawrence Norman said that the company’s basketball business grew 25% in the last quarter and “he’s confident that the momentum will continue.” Siemers notes adidas has not disclosed the value of its NBA licensing deal, but “at least two analysts estimated it to be worth as much as $300 million per year in revenue.” Meanwhile, Nike Brand President Charlie Denson last week said that the company “is preparing several scenarios, including using the college games as a stage for product debuts.” Denson: “You may see some of the NBA players’ signature models maybe show up on some college teams where maybe you wouldn’t have seen that if we were launching with the player himself. We can’t wait to get (the product) into the marketplace. So we’ll find the best vehicle that exists, depending on how this whole thing plays itself out.” adidas also “has its eye on the college game and Europe.” Norman said, “We’ll also have great on-court presence with our college programs and international teams” (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/30 issue).
Jacobellis featured on special edition Jones Soda packaging
Jones Soda Co. last week announced the launch of its new Breast Cancer Awareness Cream Soda. The special edition soda is aimed to generate funds and awareness for breast cancer, and has been released in support of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The limited-edition flavor features various pink-themed images, including a black-and-white photo of U.S. snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis (Jones Soda).
BREWERS FAN BONUSES: Associated Bank Exec VP & CMO Nick Papachristou said that the bank “has seen a huge boost in its Brewers checking account program this year." In Milwaukee, Stacy Vogel Davis notes the bank “offered a baseball signed by left fielder Ryan Braun to anyone who opened a Brewers account.” Associated eventually “had to end the promotion when it ran out of Braun-signed balls.” Meanwhile, restaurant operator George Webb Corp. Owner & President Phil Anderson said his company “has noticed a definite boost this year from the team’s success that’s easily measured in hamburgers.” The company has “long offered six burgers for $5 if the Brewers scored five or more runs in a game.” On average, “20 to 30 people per store take advantage of the ‘burger run’ offer” (MILWAUKEE JOURANL SENTINEL, 9/30 issue).
BILL OF GOODS: In N.Y. Michael O’Keefe reported Pro Football HOFer Joe DeLamielleure filed a lawsuit last week alleging that the NFL and the NFLPA "have conspired to keep his officially licensed jersey out of the marketplace.” The suit, “which seeks more than $75,000 in damages and legal fees, also names NFL licensee Reebok and Players, Inc., the union's licensing arm, as defendants.” DeLamielleure in the lawsuit claims that Reebok "sent him a contract to create a Bills jersey with his name on the back, but would manufacture the item only after he sent the company a ‘large up-front fee’ for production” (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 10/3).
REACHING FANS FAR AND WIDE: EPL club Aston Villa has signed a deal with Japanese mobile content provider CWS Brains. Fans will now have the ability to download the latest Aston Villa news and other multimedia features direct to their handset (Aston Villa).