Colts and Pro Sports and NFL and Sports Business

It's Reggie Wayne vs. Drew Brees for video game cover

March 13, 2010

With six days left to vote for the cover of the Madden 2011 video game, it appeared the race was down to Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
 

Reggie Wayne Wayne

This is the first year the game’s maker has allowed fans to vote for the cover. The vote is done via a promotion with Doritos, which has been promoting the contest heavily since early February in grocery stores nationwide. Fans can vote until March 15 at Doritoschangethegame.com.
 

Minnesota Vikings’ defender Jared Allen is the third finalist, but sources familiar with the voting said Brees and Wayne have pulled ahead.
 

Drew Brees mug Brees

“Some people are going to look at the list and think Drew Brees is going to win, but Reggie Wayne had an amazing statistical season, and I think he’s the best wide receiver in the NFL,” said Chris Erb, senior director of partnership marketing for EA Sports, which produces the game.
  Brees still remains a slight favorite to win the cover. That might be OK with Colts fans given the “curse” associated with being on the Madden video game cover.

Shaun Alexander, just one of a number of stars who became injured after appearing on the Madden cover, thinks talk of the “curse” is overblown. Alexander still benefits financially from the deal, continuing to do promotions for EA Sports.

“Football is a physical game, and people get hurt,” Alexander told USA Today last month after doing a promotion for the 2011 version in conjunction with Doritos.

Curse or not, the Madden cover gig can be a lucrative deal for the NFL player chosen. Sports marketers estimate its value at low- to mid-seven-figures for the athlete, with some players continuing to do EA promotions long after the year they appear on the cover.

The Madden video game is one of the best selling video games worldwide, typically grossing more than $100 million in the week of sales after its initial release.

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