While perusing another major sports website (shame on us), we couldn’t help but notice the ongoing competition for the cover athlete of EA Sports NHL ’13. Now down to the final 8 players, the voting process sees a number of players compete against one another in a public vote to determine who will grace the cover of the much lauded computer game series.
This is the first time the NHL title of EA Sports extremely popular games has gone done this path of cover selection but we all know the long history, successes and failures (think ‘Madden Curse’) of the NFL version.
Looking further into the voting process (which can be found here http://covervote.nhl.com/:b=ie9/#/ballot) and seeing that hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast, we can’t help but think that these numbers are transferrable to a soccer market which has (according to FIFA) 26 million registered and recreational players nationwide.
Thinking we were onto something, we did a bit more research into the concept and found a similar piece in the GGFIFA forum (http://ggfifa.com/fifa-13-cover-vote/) that pointed out;
FIFA sales have continued to increase every year, with over 8 million copies of FIFA 12 already being sold so far. That is about double the number of Madden 12 games that have been purchased. According to EA it was the fastest selling sports game ever. Simply put, the FIFA community is too large to not have a say in who gets put on the cover.
Landon Donovan has graced the U.S. cover of the past 2 FIFA titles (’11 & ’12) and while ’13 has probably been all but sewn up by EA Sports Marketing Division, it’s high time they put the decision in the hands of the ones that ultimately buy the game.
With all the above points, facts and figures in mind we would suggest the following format for a potential 2013/14 cover vote;
- That a 20 player elimination bracket be created*
- That the shortlist of players be drawn from this year’s All-Star votes.
- That every club be represented by a player in the voting rounds (19)
- That player 20 be the player with the highest votes from an already represented team
- That no overseas players be considered for voting
- Each round compares the stats of each players and provides a history of their career
*The highest vote-getters would receive a bye through to the next round of voting under a 20 player bracket
We are sure that some big multi-national conglomerate would sponsor such a competition and that prizes would drive even more participation in this virtual showcase.
It’s a win-win. We #GrowTheGame of soccer, get more interaction with the grassroots, more exposure for clubs and players and EA Sports will see more FIFA ‘13/’14 copies sold.
This should be a concept that is explored by EA Sports and ultimately encouraged by U.S. Soccer and the MLS to increase exposure for not only the game but for our local talent both current and future stars.
Simple, no? What do you think?