EA Sports Campaign Taps Football Stars, Fans


College football fans can be a passionate bunch, particularly when it comes to the teams they love and cherish. And in some places of the country -- particularly the South and Southeast -- that passion is stronger than in others.

To launch the 11th iteration of its NCAA Football game, EA Sports is taking both a national and regional approach with its advertising campaign. A national television commercial features fans and football luminaries (such as Ronnie Lott, Tim Tebow, John Elway and Desmond Howard) talking about their college football fanaticism by completing the phrase "Where I come from ..." with a team-specific comment.

Elway, for instance, says "Where I come from, laterals are for rugby." Others say where they come from, "Its Hook 'em Horns" (for the University of Texas) and "Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer" (for the University of Alabama).



The comments are intercut with game-play action, and a voiceover asserts the game has "every detail from the passion to the playbook," concluding with the line, "Where do you come from?"

The national spot will be supplemented in two geographic areas -- the Big 12 and the South and Southeast -- with spots that focus only on the teams in that region. The regions were determined through cross-referencing college football fandom with game sales, says Mike McGarry, account manager at Heat San Francisco, the agency behind the campaign's creative.

"For college football fans in certain areas, there's a rabid fan base," McGarry tells Marketing Daily. "This is an extension of their fandom." The national commercial will run on ESPN's family of networks, while the regional commercials will run on spot and regional cable sports networks in 26 Tier 2 college football markets such as Austin, Baton Rouge, Gainesville, and Omaha. Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. handled the media buying.

"If you look at the markets we're going into, it's not Tier One markets; it's Tier 2 areas that have a connection to college football or the college in general," McGarry says. "The regional sports networks are key to the buy."

The campaign also includes geotargeted online advertising, which uses IP addresses to identify potential consumers in 40 geographic regions and target messaging according to local college football teams.

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