BURNABY, BC – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC today announced that EA SPORTS has become a Whitecaps FC Founding Partner and the club’s Official Videogame Partner. The deal marks EA’s first partnership with a North American soccer club and places Whitecaps FC alongside world-class European clubs like Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, and Real Madrid CF, all current partners with EA SPORTS.
Through this relationship, EA SPORTS will showcase its FIFA Soccer videogame franchise through Whitecaps FC, including signage, broadcast, and game applications. Similar to its work with European clubs, EA SPORTS will expand its current relationship with the Whitecaps to explore new ways to enhance its videogame experience and create greater authenticity inside of its EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer products. In addition, EA SPORTS and Whitecaps FC are committed to working together in the months ahead to create and launch a program for youth development designed to support the growth of soccer locally and nationally.
The EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer franchise has sold more than 100 million units lifetime* and FIFA Soccer 11 is the best-selling sports videogame in the world. Whitecaps FC and BC Place Stadium will be included in FIFA Soccer 12, enabling fans to play with the Whitecaps MLS team in their new home before the stadium is actually complete. In addition, a limited number of FIFA Soccer 12 games will be available in British Columbia in specially designed Whitecaps FC branding.
“We’re thrilled to join Whitecaps FC as a Founding Partner, as they enter into their inaugural season in MLS,” said EA SPORTS Vice President and General Manager of Soccer, Matt Bilbey. “EA SPORTS has a long history of supporting soccer clubs internationally, and with the success of MLS, it’s the perfect time to bring this support to North America at the club level. British Columbia has been home to the FIFA Soccer franchise for 18 years, and now more than 1,200 EA employees at our Burnaby studio, so we pledge our support to work with Whitecaps FC to develop soccer here in the province and inspire the youth that play this game.”
As Official Videogame Partner of Whitecaps FC, EA SPORTS will have exclusive access to Whitecaps FC players to motion capture and turn into the life-like movement of the virtual players in future versions of EA’s FIFA Soccer games. The FIFA development team will also explore new ways to leverage MLS matches at BC Place to deliver improved authenticity in its games that match the complexity, finesse, and excitement of a real-world soccer match. EA SPORTS will also access players, staff, and its passionate fans to test early versions of its soccer products.
“Through innovative and interactive technology, EA SPORTS will bring football fans closer to the game than ever before,” said Paul Barber, chief executive officer, Whitecaps FC. “We are very pleased to welcome a global company with local roots on board—especially one of EA’s calibre—and we look forward to working together to build excitement for the launch of Major League Soccer in Vancouver.”
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 ELITE basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.
* According to EA SPORT’s internal sales data
About FIFA Soccer 11
Localized into 18 languages and available in 51 countries, FIFA Soccer 11 is available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, Wii™, PC, Nintendo DS™, PlayStation®2, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), iPhone® and iPod® touch. Visit http://www.facebook.com/easportsfifa to join the EA SPORTS FIFA Facebook group or visit http://www.ea.com/soccer for more information about the game. The game is rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB and 3+ by PEGI in Europe.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA Mobile™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2010, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.7 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million units. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile, Pogo and EA SPORTS Active are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Official FIFA licensed product © The FIFA name and OLP Logo are copyright or trademark protected by FIFA. All rights reserved. Manufactured under license by Electronic Arts Inc. Player names and likenesses used under license from FIFA, International Federation of Professional Footballers "(FIFPro)" and national teams. John Madden, NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA, Tiger Woods and PGA TOUR are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission. Microsoft, Xbox, and Xbox 360 are registered trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “PlayStation” and PSP are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Wii and Nintendo DS are trademarks of Nintendo. iPod and the iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver. For additional information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit whitecapsfc.com.