This was supposed to be a star-studded event in Las Vegas. Instead, the 2021 Pro Bowl will be held virtually, as players compete head-to-head in the Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL ’21 video game, the association announced Tuesday..
In a nod to the era, EA Sports has teamed up with the National Football League to create a series of virtual week-long matches that include celebrities, football legends and current players, which precede the main event â € Madden match between the best league players. The exact date of the game is still being determined.
« We’re excited to bring this up virtually and be the first to do so, » Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice President of Club and League Events told CNBC. . “It is an opportunity to connect with young fans in a really accessible way.
The Pro Bowl usually features the best players from two NFL conferences â € American Football Conference and National Football Conference ???? Against each other in a game that takes place a week before Super Bowl. But last month, the NFL announced that it would cancel the 2021 Pro Bowl due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The game that usually attracts around 8. 5 million viewers, it was scheduled to be played in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium in January. 31.
Instead, an elite group of players will hit the game’s consoles and shout trifles as they compete head-to-head in Madden.. The league says the AFC versus NFC format will remain the same.
“You can imagine Patrick Mahomes playing himself as an Asian quarterback player against Aaron Donald on the NFC side. So, bring these players into the game and let the celebrities and others be a part of that virtual game, and obviously let the fans see that and be a part of it, ”said O’Reilly..
The NFL is working on details of the broadcast arrangement with ABC owned by Disney and ESPN, but the event will be broadcast on all major social media channels.
“We wouldn’t put all that focus and energy into doing it majorly without ensuring its true distribution across the notable streaming platforms, and hopefully there will be some meaningful integration with O’Reilly said: ESPN and ABC”.
O’Reilly said that EA Sports was the most natural fit to accomplish this hypothetical event, reaching the main population the NFL is targeting – ???? Millennials. For EA Sports, this is an opportunity to develop Madden from being a video game into a more interactive way to consume the sport.
“As sport continues to change, we are in the game with partners like the NFL to see what the next generation of fans want in interactive and entertaining sports experiences.. « This is specifically designed for that, » said Chris Brozo, EA Sports’ chief marketing officer..
Bruzzo said the experience will look similar to the realistic Pro Bowl, with a virtual version of Allegiant Stadium and a notable place for sponsors like Verizon.. (Allegiant Stadium will host the 2022 Pro Bowl, as makeup to miss this year’s Pro Bowl. )
The voting process will be the same as the previous Pro Bowls. Starting Tuesday, fans can vote for players they believe deserve the Pro Bowl honor through the NFL.. com, their Madden consoles, and on Twitter. NFL players and coaches will vote in December. 18. Â The choice of Pro Bowl is determined by the vote of the fans, players and coaches.
Selected players will still receive a bonus based on their contracts, plus a gift package including a personalized custom Pro Bowl jersey.
The pandemic created an unexpected boost for the video game industry. Since people are stuck at home, they are turning to video games to beat cabin fever. Total consumer spending on video games in the United States. s. It came to $ 11. 2 billion in the third quarter of 2020, up 24% over the same period last year, according to the NPD Group.
Bruzzo said: « Madden scored his highest single year in terms of the number of players who participated in this last year. ». He added, « We see people playing weekdays, midday and all week long, unlike the big spikes that may happen on weekends. ». .
EA’s Madden NFL 21 was among the best performing titles of the quarter, finishing second in the NPD’s Top 20 Games of October 2020. The only title that preceded it was FIFA 21, which is also an Electronic Arts title.
Clarification: The NFL says the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players does not specify any compensation or incentive to play in the Pro Bowl, unlike what was included in a previous interview for this story.
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AFC – NFC Pro Bowl, Bowl Game, Madden NFL, Electronic Arts, EA Sports
World News – US – The NFL will hold the virtual Pro Bowl this year, as Players compete in the Madden video game
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