May 1, 2010: Atari, founded in 1972 and credited as being the innovator and driving force behind today's multibillion-dollar videogame category with Pong and Atari 2600 before falling on hard times, is trying to again become a major game player in a category now ruled by Nintendo, EA and others.
The company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari SA in France, said it would release its newest videogame, Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers, with the support of marketing partners including Franklin Sports, GT Beverages, GameStop, Baseball Youth and the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
The title is scheduled to hit retail for Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS on May 25.
Franklin Sports product and brand integration will appear in Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers, including a pitching machine, logos on fields and billboards. Franklin Sports branding will also be seen alongside the activity tips on the loading screens which promote physical activity for kids. GT Beverages will feature the Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers logo on its Sportastic Sports Drink May to June 2010. Backyard Sports and Sportastic will also have a promotional tie-in with GameStop locations to drive awareness and sales.
The Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers videogame will serve as the exclusive game on the East and West coasts for the Baseball Youth Road Trip FanFest, an interactive tour visiting youth baseball tournaments nationwide. The game will also receive exposure via Baseball Youth Magazine and national partners, social network, e-mail blasts, branded vehicles, and local media lasting from May to September. And the National Alliance for Youth Sports will raise awareness of the game via an e-mail newsletter to more than 70,000 member organizations, including national youth sports coaches, Parks & Recreation Associations, YMCAs and JCCs.
"Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers is a big evolution for the number one kids sports videogame brand with a whole host of engaging, new features while keeping true to the classic rules of the sport," Jim Wilson, president and CEO of Atari, Inc., said in a statement. "Our partnerships with Franklin Sports, GT Beverages, Baseball Youth, and the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc. provide us with an excellent opportunity to broaden brand awareness."
Atari's franchise also includes such classic titles as Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command and Lunar Lander; and more modern games including Star Trek Online, Ghostbusters, Project Runway and Dungeons and Dragons.
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