Tiger, Serena, Big Ben Meet Real 'Gamers' In EA Sports Campaign

June 10, 2009: EA Sports' tagline, "It's in the game," becomes the basis for a "You're in the game" theme in a new multi-media brand campaign in which real videogame players interact with an all-star line-up that includes Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams, Ben Rothlesberger, Hines Ward, Oscar De La Hoya, Ronaldinho and Steve Nash. The effort, "Welcome to the win," will break June 11 with a 60-second spot during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on ABC, and will also include 30-second spots, print, Internet and viral that will run through the 2009 holiday season. The campaign is the first from San Francisco-based agencies Heat and Freestyle Interactive since they were jointly awarded the EA Sports account in February. EA Sports spent about $20 million on media in 2008.

In the umbrella spot, "Joy," videogamers are put into real life situations to show how EA Sports games mirror athletic experiences on the field, all played out to the rousing and robust music of "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. One guy sinks a tournament-winning putt and celebrates with Tiger Woods, a girl aces a match-winning serve in a doubles game with her mom against the Williams sisters, a young man outlasts de la Hoya in the ring, another shares the Super Bowl XLIII victory with Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Rothlesberger and Ward, a guy scores the game-winning goal as a teammate of soccer star Ronaldinho and a another hits the game-winning shot after taking a pass from two-time NBA MVP Nash. At the end of the 60-second spot, a voiceover rehashes the tag, "EA Sports. It's in the game."

A series of 30-second spots show the athletes in "candid" conversations sharing tips with the videogamers on how to improve their styles: Serena Williams shows "MadDog97" the best way to throw a racquet into the air and then not let it hit you in the head on the way down after winning a match, de la Hoya offers "VanRoundHausen" hints on how to psyche out an opponent, and Nash educates "Tre-Maker" on the art of acknowledging the teammate who passed you the ball after you scored a basket. "If I give you a nice pass and you make the shot, point at me," says Nash. "Show me a little love." Print includes a two-page spread in ESPN the Magazine.

According to Nancy Aquino, creative wrangler for Heat, "EA’s challenge was to elevate and broaden their sports franchise to appeal to both the newcomers and sports gaming enthusiasts. The campaign showcases winning moments - leading the viewer to experience the ‘win’ of a real game and showing that parallel feeling in the EA Sports games themselves." Back to Home Page

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