In what Electronic Arts is billing as the biggest sports game launch in its history, its EA Sports FIFA 11 video game sold 2.6 million copies at retail and generated more than $150 million between its debut on Tuesday, September 28, and Sunday, October 2. The results were boosted by the return of a five-week, cross-country marketing tour. The mobile campaign, used last year to introduce the soccer game's predecessor, FIFA 10, involves two vehicles fitted with 15 televisions and 15 PlayStation 3 systems traveling on separate routes to hit a total of 13 cities.
Tapped by Electronic Arts' internal marketing team (led by global product manager Sam Cooper), Chicago-based marketing and media agency Revolution produced the tour, which started in Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago on September 25 and will end in St. Louis and Seattle on October 31.
With a clear goal of getting consumers to try the new game, the producers, who also worked alongside tour partner Sony, made a couple of changes to the program executed last year. The biggest of these was a switch to larger Sprinter vans for the vehicles, which allowed the team to provide more TVs and PlayStations for simultaneous game-play. Another tweak was a collaboration with Best Buy and GameStop to incorporate more retail stops into the road trip's agenda, which also includes visits to sports centers, malls, soccer tournaments, and bars.
Aside from boosting sales for the game, the mobile campaign has also garnered impressive statistics in other areas. Through the second week, the EA Sports FIFA 11 tour has amassed more than 14,000 game-plays, interacted with more than 30,000 consumers, and accumulated more than 900,000 fans on Facebook, the social media hub for the promotion.