EA and ESPN announced today that Calvin Johnson, Jr., wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, was selected by millions of fans across the country to grace the cover of Madden NFL 13, which will hit store shelves August 28. Johnson, a No. 6 seed, defeated fellow NFL Pro Bowler Cam Newton, a No.1 seed, in a thrilling matchup culminating in a live unveiling on ESPN’s SportsNation and a cover photo shoot for the winner in New York City’s Times Square. This year’s vote campaign surpassed last year’s totals by 54% (19.6 million vs. 12.7 million), ending with Johnson triumphing over Newton by a final margin of 52% to 48%.
Nearly 20 million votes were cast during the seven week campaign (March 7 to April 25) through SportsNation online and via the mobile web, marking a new engagement record for an ESPN poll. Supported by integrations across multiple ESPN platforms, including TV, radio, online, mobile, social media, ESPN Deportes and more, fans rallied and supported Johnson as he beat teammate Matt Stafford in the newly introduced play-in round. He carried his strong momentum through the bracket of 32 all the way to victory beating No. 11 seed Dwayne Bowe, No. 3 seed Arian Foster, No. 2 seed Rob Gronkowski and No. 1 seed Aaron Rodgers in the final four before triumphing over Newton in the finale.
“This campaign is the latest example of what ESPN and EA have been doing for years together to serve sports fans,” said Raphael Poplock, Vice President, Games and Partnerships, ESPN. “From in-studio technology with Virtual Playbook, to authentic ESPN broadcast treatments within EA franchise games, and cross-platform social campaigns for the Madden NFL Cover Vote, our relationship continues to produce successful integrations and activations that engage fans in new and innovative ways.”
To celebrate and commemorate Johnson’s Cover Vote win and to kick off the Madden NFL 13 season, EA SPORTS conducted a photo shoot in New York City’s Times Square to capture the iconic image that will appear on the cover of this year’s game.
Madden NFL 13 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon and will be available for the Xbox 360® video game system from Microsoft, Kinect, PlayStation®3, Wii™, and PS Vita (PlayStation®Vita) handheld entertainment system on August 28.