Electronic Arts Inc. and Sports Illustrated have announced details of an exclusive marketing partnership between the internationally renowned Need for Speed™ and Swimsuit franchises, bringing together the worlds of fashion, video games, cars and beauty in a first-of-its-kind partnership. The deal will see 2011 SI Swimsuit Cover model Irina Shayk and popular Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen play guest starring roles* in one of this holiday’s most anticipated releases, Need for Speed™ The Run. The action-packed racing game, which is currently in development at EA Black Box, takes players on a heart-pounding cross-country race from San Francisco to New York. In addition, the partnership powers a new SI subscription bundled offer featuring Need for Speed The Run assets and both EA and SI will execute significant cross-promotion across in-game, TV and social media.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Sports Illustrated to deliver the biggest, fastest, and sexiest entertainment event of the holiday with Need for Speed The Run,” said Steve Seabolt, Vice President of Global Brand Partnerships at EA. “With a global reach and a quality standard that’s comparable to what we achieve in our games, Sports Illustrated makes the perfect partner. Gamers, racers and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit aficionados alike will love seeing Irina and Chrissy transform from the physical to the digital world, playing lifelong friends competing in a heart-pounding race from San Francisco to New York.”
Irina Shayk, cover model of the 2011 SI Swimsuit and Chrissy Teigen, a feature model in the 2011 issue, star as best friends and rival racers competing against Jack, the protagonist and “man on the run” in Need for Speed The Run. As part of the partnership, Sports Illustrated and Electronic Arts are producing “The Making of Need for Speed The Run” DVD which will be included in a Sports Illustrated subscription offer whereby new subscribers will receive a six month “All Access” subscription to SI, Need for Speed The Run video game** and the DVD (for $49.95). Additional marketing extensions will also include commercial promotions for the offer and Sports Illustrated will have promotional billboards in the game, which will be used to promote the Sports Illustrated “All Access” Subscription offer as well as SI’s Sportsman of the Year and Swimsuit franchises.
“There are only a few companies that deliver upon the promise of excitement and innovation with every new product launch and EA stands at the top of that list. This is why it is very exciting that SI Swimsuit will be part of the latest edition of the Need for Speed franchise,” said Frank Wall, Vice President and Publisher of Sports Illustrated. “I’m sure that the millions of Swimsuit fans will be excited to see Irina and Chrissy behind the wheel and millions more will be introduced to franchise in a fun and unexpected way.”
Need for Speed The Run will be available November 15th in North America for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3, PC, Wii™ and Nintendo 3DS™. This title is not yet rated.