Marketing of video soccer games: Not always coming from soccer talent.

Soccer video game sales can surprised many -- including executives.

Speaking at Marketing: Sports. Soccer in America, David Pekush, senior global product marketing manager for EA Sports, said the company’s eyes were open when learning the marketing efforts for one version of its “FIFA” gaming series, came up with the results where  “one third of the games we sold were to people that never saw the game before.”

EA Sports realized it needed to targeted a broader range of sports fans: “One of the great things about soccer, it is about fantastic competition,” says Pekush. EA Sports focused on big North American’ sports fanatics who love competition: “The social and impulse gamer.”

Then it looked to get recognizable U.S. sports names. It got NBA star Steve Nash, a big soccer player/supporter growing up on Canada, and U.S. star soccer Landon Donovan to do a commercial together. Later on it used music stars Snoop Lion and Drake, and more recently NBA-ers Kevin Love and Dwight Howard.

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