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Tiger Woods Shares 'PGA Tour 11' Box Cover, But Still An EA Sports Star

March 9, 2010: Electronic Arts continues to be the most prolific of Tiger Woods' marketing partners, not only talking the talk in support of the beleaguered golfer but also walking the walk with new products. EA Sports, which launched Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online this past December, has now unveiled Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 featuring Ryder Cup action, which will be available on June 8 for the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and iPhone platforms.

The Ryder Cup, a competition hosted by Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA of America, brings together the best American and European golfers in a team competition format, Woods is featured on the videogame cover representing the U.S. team, sharing the spotlight with Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland representing the European team. The 2010 Ryder Cup will be played Oct. 1-3 at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

Woods currently is on a self-imposed hiatus from golf, but observers feel he could return prior to The Masters in April. Although he has lost Accenture, AT&T and PepsiCo's Gatorade as marketing partners since his marital infidelity problems became public, his sponsorship roster still includes EA, Nike, Tag Heuer, Gillette, NetJets, TLC Vision and Upper Deck. As recently as 2008, Woods was earning an estimated $100 million annually from endorsements; that figure is down to about $55-$60 million, according to analysts.

Following his nationally broadcast public apology on Feb. 19, Woods received words of support from several of his marketing partners, but none stronger than from EA Sports president Peter Moore.

"He remains one of the greatest athletes in history, and as a long-standing partner, we look forward to seeing Tiger back on the golf course when the time is right for him and his family," Moore said in a statement. "Many of you have inquired if our relationship with Tiger will change. Our official response: Our strong relationship with Tiger, for more than a decade, remains unchanged.”

McIlroy, currently ranked 9th according to the Official World Golf Rankings, had five top 10 PGA Tour finishes in 2009 and made the cut in all four majors.

“This is a huge honor for me to be the on the cover with Tiger Woods as I grew up idolizing Tiger,” McIlroy said in a statement. “The Ryder Cup has always been my favorite sporting event and the tournament is being played at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in 2010. Also, I’m hopeful to have an opportunity to represent the European team later in the year – it’s all very special.”

In Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, players have the ability to participate in team play and will also  be able to take a team online via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A first for the franchise, EA said this new mode will allow up to 24 players to compete head-to-head as members of team. Team members can also talk strategy with their teammates over Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on the Wii offers two all-new enhanced swing mechanics while using the Wii MotionPlus.

EA Sports said that since the launch of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 99 the franchise has sold more than 25 million units worldwide.

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