Toy Island and EA SPORTS, a label of Electronic Arts, Inc., are teaming up to develop a unique new line of sports equipment that will bring the excitement of video game simulation outside onto the fields of play. The multi-year agreement between Toy Island, a leader in creating products for children worldwide, and EA, the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, was announced today by Robert Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Toy Island and Peter Moore, President of EA SPORTS.
The first merchandising deal of its kind for EA SPORTS under a partnership with IMG announced in February 2008, the new sporting goods products are slated to launch in Fall 2009. IMG Licensing, a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG, is the exclusive worldwide consumer product and brand licensing agent for EA SPORTS.
“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 Moore. “With Toy Island, we’ve found a partner that shares EA SPORTS’ passion for quality and innovation. We’re excited to be working with them to bring to market unique products that are sure to be captivating for young athletes.”
Tim Rothwell, Executive Vice President & Co-Managing Director, IMG, said: "We are pleased that we were able to put EA and Toy Island together in the development of this unique and innovative project.”
The unique and differentiated EA SPORTS-branded products will bring classic sports activities to life in a whole new way, utilizing infrared, motion and equilibrium sensors. The products, which will serve as a virtual coach as they instruct the user on form and technique, speed and power, and more, are in development for baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey. Products 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.
The products will be available for three youth categories: ages 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12. Other sports are expected to follow this year’s launch.
“We could not be more thrilled with the opportunity to work with EA SPORTS on what we think is the next level of sporting goods,” said George Vorkas, President of Toy Island. “To take games that so many of us play with and make them relatable on a physical level to kids that have grown up playing EA SPORTS video games, is something that we are delighted to do.”