In case you're not aware, EA Sports has decided to produce a Spanish version of the mega-hit Madden NFL '08. They're hoping to tap into the sport's popularity at a time when the NFL is ratcheting up marketing efforts aimed at Spanish speakers.
For the first time, Electronic Arts Inc. is producing a Spanish-language version of its hugely popular Madden NFL football video game, the company announced Tuesday.
The move is evidence of the growing popularity of the NFL among Spanish speakers as well as a sign of the company's desire to tap into new customers.
It's estimated that "about 12 percent of the NFL's 120 million fans are Hispanic", and it is nice that EA Sports has taken them into consideration. Eventhough, they've probably already purchased the English version of this year's game which has been available since August. But I'm sure that EA wouldn't mind someone buying two copies of the same game.
Probably the two biggest questions regard the announcer and the cover
And who's the cover athlete?
Luis Castillo of the San Diego Chargers. Who was chosen because of his heritage.
The cover will feature San Diego Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo, the second player from the Dominican Republic to be drafted and start in the NFL.
Now, everything seems fine and dandy, but some of you may have heard of Mr. Castillo. And you probably remember that it wasn't all good.
Luis Castillo was an All-American defensive linemen while at Northwestern, but during his senior season he suffered a severe elbow injury that nagged him the entire season. He opted not to take a medical redshirt, and as the NFL Combine got closer he was scared that he wouldn't perform up to the level he was capable of. So, he used the steroid, androstenedione, for a short while and was able to put up 32 reps at 225lbs at the combine. However, he also tested positive for the steroid there, and instantly had to go on the defensive. All 32 teams knew of his failed test, but San Diego still took him with the 28th pick of the 2005 draft.
Here is what Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel had to say about it at the time:
"It sends a terrible message,'' Vrabel said. "He cheats. He cheated the system and got away with it."
Castillo admitted that he took andro to help him with his combine performance, and whether or not you justify his decision because he's a "great kid"(like Chargers' GM A.J. Smith) the fact is he did cheat to enhance his performance. He was rewarded back in 2005 with being drafted #28, and he's being rewarded in 2007 with the cover of the Spanish version of Madden '08. Well, if you can call being on the cover a reward.
And in a weird twist of coincidence, Castillo's teammate Shawne Merriman, who has also had some steroid issues, has been selected as the cover athlete for EA's NFL Tour.
So, that's two athletes with ties to steroids that are doing endorsements for EA's NFL marketing. Somewhere Roger Goodell is burning all of his EA games.