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ESPN and EA Sports Kick Off Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote


REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – March 11, 2013 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and ESPN today announced the official players and brackets for the Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote. The vote will include two brackets, one composed of 32 new-school NFL stars and one of 32 old-school NFL legends, with the winner of each bracket facing off in the finals for the right to appear on the cover. The Madden NFL Cover Vote has proven to be extremely popular with the fans, garnering over 33 million votes since its introduction in 2011.

The new school vs. old school format is especially fitting for the 25th anniversary of the Madden NFL franchise, as this edition of the game both celebrates the past while laying a strong foundation for the future. The name Madden NFL 25was chosen in celebration of the franchise’s silver anniversary, and the game will launch on August 27.

Throughout the competition, fans can vote for all their favorites by visiting ESPN.com/MaddenVote starting today with all 32 old-school and new-school matchups. And, for the first time ever, SportsNation will debut a limited window of live Twitter voting during their show every Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.  Voting starts now and will continue up until the reveal of the winner on Wednesday, April 24.

The first round of the competition promises to offer plenty of excitement, with several high-profile matchups. In the old-school bracket Hall-of-Famer Curtis Martin takes on former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis in a battle between two of the top running backs of the previous decade; while in the new-school bracket feared Broncos linebacker Von Miller will do his best to prevent New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz from salsa dancing into the next round.

Over the past week ESPN has hosted a special Wild Card Round via Twitter with Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and Jerry Rice going toe-to-toe to decide who would earn the last slot in the old-school bracket. Today Jerry Rice took the honors, and will test himself against former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor in the opening round.

Fans can tune into SportsNation every Wednesday at 4pm ET on ESPN 2 to get the weekly results of the Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote, and watch hosts Marcellus Wiley and Charissa Thompson as they provide in-depth analysis and debate the results. Cover Vote participants and other special guests will also be appearing on SportsNation and other ESPN programming for the duration of the campaign to make their case and attempt to earn fan votes.

Madden NFL 25 will be a culmination of 25 years of innovation when it launches in August and there is no better way to honor our incredible history than by engaging our fans in the ultimate debate of old school vs. new school,” said Anthony Stevenson, Senior Director of Marketing at EA SPORTS. “Our fans’ passion has built the Madden NFLfranchise into what it has become, so it’s only fitting that they decide who should be the face of this special year ofMadden NFL; whether it be one of the NFL’s brightest young stars or an all-time legend of the game.”

“The Madden NFL 25 cover vote is the perfect marriage between two strong brands coming together to put fans in control of what they’re most passionate about and giving them a platform for their voices to be heard,” said Brian Dailey, Director of Games and Partnerships for ESPN.  “Engagement has been strong in our last two Madden cover votes, accounting for some of ESPN’s most successful social activations to date, and we anticipate that to continue with the 25th anniversary.”

“The Madden NFL 25 cover vote includes an incredible collection of young NFL stars and some of the best legends to ever play the game, so it is sure to spark great debate over the next month on SportsNation,” noted Jamie Horowitz, Vice President of Original Programming and Production for ESPN. “Our viewers are extremely passionate about their favorite players and teams so we’re looking forward to seeing how the vote turns out on ESPN.com and Twitter.”

To celebrate the start of Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote, EA SPORTS and ESPN hosted a live bracket reveal onSportsNation at LA Live. The star-studded event featured visits from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and former San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice making their cases for the new school and the old school, alongside a musical performance by Kendrick Lamar. The event provided a high-energy start for the Cover Vote and set the tone for an exciting competition.

Fans will also have the opportunity to win a trip for two to the Madden NFL 25 Cover Shoot on Wednesday, April 24 and tickets to the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25 in New York City. Starting today and through March 18 users will be able to click on the Xbox 360 Madden NFL 25 Play and Win banner on the Xbox Live dashboard to gain access to the various ways to enter to win. Full rules and details can be found here.

Embraced by fans and honored by critics for 25 years, Madden NFL is known as the NFL’s “33rd Franchise” due to its authentic gameplay, the development team’s unparalleled access to NFL resources and its prominent place in NFL culture.

Madden NFL 25 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon and will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $59.99 and can be preordered atGameStop. To learn more about Madden NFL 25, visit http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl. Fans are also invited tobecome a Madden Insider for exclusive information on Facebook including the latest news, original content and more for Madden NFL 25.

All player participation has been facilitated by National Football League Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).

EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs and cross-platform digital experiences. EA SPORTS creates connected experiences that ignite the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports videogames, includingMadden NFL football, FIFA SoccerNHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® FootballTiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, SSX™ and Fight Night boxing.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visitwww.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

ESPN and EA Sports Unveil Players Up for Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – March 21, 2012 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and ESPN announced today the 32 fan-selected NFL players who will advance in the EA SPORTSMadden NFL 13 Cover Vote.  The announcement follows a two week play-in round, during which time fans voted between two teammates in matchups for each NFL team on the SportsNation Facebook page.  Today, winners from each matchup moved on to the official cover vote bracket.  Fans can vote for their favorite cover athlete candidate from their computer or mobile phones at ESPN.com/MaddenVote through April 25.

To kick off the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote bracket debate, a SportsNation “Madden Cover Vote Special” will air tonight on ESPN 2 from 6-7 p.m. ET.  Every Wednesday throughout the campaign, fans can tune in to SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET for an in-depth discussion about the latest voting results and to see which players have advanced to the next round. The tournament will culminate with the reveal of the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete on SportsNation on April 25, the night before the 2012 NFL Draft.

The results of the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote play-in round are:

Play-In Round Winners

Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald Miami Dolphins Reggie Bush
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen
Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski
Buffalo Bills Stevie Johnson New England Patriots Brandon Lloyd*
Carolina Panthers Cam Newton New Orleans Saints Drew Brees
Chicago Bears Matt Forte New York Giants Victor Cruz
Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green New York Jets Darrelle Revis
Cleveland Browns Joe Haden Oakland Raiders Sebastian Janikowski
Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy
Denver Broncos Tim Tebow Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu
Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson San Diego Chargers Antonio Gates
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis
Houston Texans Arian Foster Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch
Indianapolis Colts Dwight Freeney Tampa Bay Buccaneers LeGarrette Blount
Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson
Kansas City Chiefs Dwayne Bowe Washington Redskins Brian Orakpo

*Entered the Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote play-in round representing the St. Louis Rams.

Among the 32 players are past Super Bowl winners including Victor Cruz and Aaron Rodgers; perennial Pro Bowl players Larry Fitzgerald and Drew Brees; and some of the most dominant players in the NFL such as Troy Polamalu and Jared Allen.  During the first ever play-in round, fan voting resulted in upsets like LeSean McCoy surpassing Michael Vick who was a finalist in last year’s award-winning Madden NFL 12 Cover Vote competition.

“Every football fan has an opinion on who should be on the Madden NFL cover, which was highly visible given the overwhelming response and debate that ensued during last year’s campaign. We’re proud to once again put the fate of the game’s cover in our fans’ hands and let them decide who is worthy of becoming the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete,” said director of marketing Anthony Stevenson. “Our collaboration with ESPN and SportsNation helped elevate the campaign to new heights last year and we’re thrilled to team up again on this award-winning program.”

“Sports fans are embracing the new structure of the Madden NFL 13 cover vote and the response has been tremendous for the play-in round, which gives each team’s fans an increased voice in the player selected for the vote,” said Jamie Horowitz, Vice President, Original Programming and Production, ESPN.  “SportsNation has the most engaged social audience across the ESPN network, and enabling them to share their votes across Facebook was an ideal way to tap into some of football’s most passionate fans.”

The Madden NFL 13 cover vote marks the third-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign.  It also marks the second year of its collaboration with ESPN and SportsNation.  Last year, nearly 13 million votes were logged through ESPNSportsNation.com online and via the mobile web, the most ever for an ESPN cross-platform activation, which witnessed 10th seeded Peyton Hillis (Browns, RB) winning the honor to grace the cover of Madden NFL 12.

To ensure their favorite player advances to the next round of this year’s competition, fans are encouraged to vote daily and tweet their picks using #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter. Beginning March 22 at 9:00 a.m. ET, fans can also visit the Madden NFL Facebook page to fill out their own Madden NFL 13 cover athlete bracket to compete against their friends for the chance to win Super Bowl tickets and copies of Madden NFL 13. Visit www.facebook.com/EASPORTSMaddenNFL for Official Rules.