EA Sports Ventures into Toy Business

EA Sports Ventures into Toy Business

Electronic Arts has taken a step towards making its EA Sports brand more than just a videogame label.

The publisher said Monday that it has signed a deal with Toy Island that will bring to market EA Sports-branded toys, which are aimed at age categories 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12. Initial toys will arrive in fall 2009 with more to follow.

“Our goal is to take the EA Sports brand deeper into the fabric of sports, and into new markets that allow more people to unleash their inner spirit of sports and competition,” said Peter Moore, head of EA Sports.

The toys will be for "real world" off-screen play, but will still have digital elements such as infrared, motion and equilibrium sensors.

EA described the toys as a "virtual coach" for sports.

IMG Licensing, which set up the deal, is the exclusive worldwide consumer product and brand licensing agent for EA Sports.

One of Moore’s primary goals since taking the reins at EA has been to expand the EA Sports brand beyond the realm of videogames, making the label as closely associated with sports and athleticism as Nike and Adidas.

According to EA, products coming from the multi-year agreement will include:

  • A line of interactive training tools featuring voice commands and instructional coaching elements designed to take budding stars to the next level;
  • A complete game-in-a-box containing all the equipment necessary for kids to practice and play a sport;
  • A line of sports toys that will utilize electronics to reward young athletes with cheers when they use proper techniques;
  • A basic line of high density-foam balls to help kids develop throwing and kicking motor skills at an early age.