REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – March 21, 2010 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that football fans across the country will have the opportunity to select the next cover athlete for the award-winning Madden NFL franchise. Beginning today and continuing through April 27, fans can participate in a bracket-style voting campaign on and choose among 32 candidates (one representative from every NFL team) to appear on the cover of Madden NFL 12. Fans’ votes will determine which NFL players advance through the seeded bracket, culminating in the reveal of the Madden NFL 12 cover athlete on ESPN’s “SportsNation” on April 27.*

Green Bay Packers quarterback and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers, former Madden NFL cover athletes Drew Brees (quarterback, New Orleans Saints) and a wave of NFL stars including Michael Vick (quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles), Maurice Jones-Drew (running back, Jacksonville Jaguars), Adrian Peterson (running back, Minnesota Vikings) and Julius Peppers (defensive end, Chicago Bears) are among the 32 candidates.

Tune in to ESPN’s “SportsNation” today (March 21) at 4pm Eastern to see the full Madden NFL 12cover athlete bracket.

“Whether it be from fans, media, agents, or even the players themselves, there’s never a shortage of opinions when it comes to the annual selection of the Madden NFL cover athlete,” said Anthony Stevenson, Senior Product Manager of EA SPORTS. “So this year we’re handing the keys over to the public. ESPN continues to be a tremendous partner of the Madden NFL franchise, and it makes perfect sense for ‘SportsNation’ to be the platform that gives fans the ultimate say in who graces the cover of Madden NFL 12.”

From March 21 – April 27, fans can log on to to vote daily for their favorite cover athlete candidate. Every Monday throughout the campaign, fans can tune in to ESPN’s “SportsNation” at 4pm Eastern for the latest voting results and see who will advance to the next round. Fans can also visit the Madden NFL Facebook page ( to fill out their own Madden NFL 12 cover athlete bracket to compete against their friends and co-workers for the chance to win a variety of prizes including Super Bowl tickets and copies of Madden NFL 12.  Visit for Official Rules.

“ESPN is proud to continue its tradition of serving fans by collaborating with EA SPORTS and putting the cover vote of Madden NFL 12 in their hands,” said Raphael Poplock, Vice President, Games & Digital Partnerships, ESPN.  “We believe ESPN provides the perfect platform for fans to be heard, and encourage everyone to support their favorite representative in this bracket-style vote.”

Candidates from each NFL team were selected and seeded based on a variety of criteria including on-the-field performance during the 2010 NFL season, their visibility within their franchise and community, and their personal career journey.

The Madden NFL 12 cover vote marks the second-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign. Last year, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, fresh off a Super Bowl XLIV MVP award, won the fans vote to appear on Madden NFL 11, beating out Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

Madden NFL 12 marks the 23rd edition of the video game in franchise history. Since its debut in 1989,Madden NFL has over 90 million units sold-in to date. Madden NFL 12, which launches in August, will provide an immersive and authentic experience that fans have come to expect from the award-winning franchise, including all 32 NFL teams and more than 1,700 NFL players.

Madden NFL 12 is developed in Orlando, Florida by the EA Tiburon studio, which also producesNCAA® FootballTiger Woods PGA TOUR®, and EA SPORTS™ MMA.