GUILDFORD, UK. – November 24, 2011 – Electronic Arts Inc. today announced that EA SPORTS™ has signed the world’s top footballer, Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, to a multi-year endorsement contract that will see him become the global face of the EA SPORTS FIFA franchise. The biggest transfer deal this football season sees the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 winner transfer to EA SPORTS and make his debut in March, 2012 on the cover of FIFA Street.
“Our FIFA franchise is the number one selling sports videogame franchise in the world, and Lionel Messi is the number one player in the world, so this agreement is a true partnership of superstars,” said Matt Bilbey, Vice President and GM of Football, EA SPORTS. “With Messi on our team we have the world’s best and most exciting player to help EA SPORTS maintain its global leadership in the years ahead.”
“I want to be part of the team behind the best sports football game in the world and be associated with the great EA SPORTS name,” said Messi. “EA SPORTS is a brand that shares my values of creativity, excellence and social responsibility.”
Playing for FC Barcelona, Messi received the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010 award as the top footballer in the world, was UEFA Champions League Top Goal Scorer the past three years, is the three-time La Liga Player of the Year, and has made the shortlist for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or. At just 24, Messi has scored over 200 goals in all competitions and currently sits second in the rankings of Barcelona’s all-time leading goal scorers. He has scored 27 goals and 14 assists in 29 games this season in all competitions.
The multi-faceted partnership will see Messi become an EA SPORTS Football Ambassador. He will become the cornerstone of marketing and advertising campaigns, featured on packaging, and utilized in social media activities around the world for the critically acclaimed FIFA franchise. EA SPORTS will also team up with the Leo Messi Foundation to support social, educational and health care related initiatives for children around the world.
The EA SPORTS FIFA series, now in its 19 th year, sold a record-breaking 3.2 million copies of FIFA 12 in the first five days after launching to become the biggest launch in the history of sports videogames.
EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA JAM basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf , and EA SPORTS Active. For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.
*Based on units sold world-wide as of July 25, 2011 (via NPD, Chart-track, GFK & Famitsu Marketing Data Service)
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.
In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.
EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Active, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. John Madden, NFL, NCAA, Tiger Woods, PGA TOUR and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.