EA Sports is Right to Release All New Tiger Woods Golfing Video Game

Though other sponsors (Tag Heur, Accenture, AT&T, Gillete) have cut some or all ties with embattled golfer Tiger Woods, Electronic Arts has decided to stay the course. EA will release Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online by the end of January, in a show of support for the world’s biggest punching bag. Featuring Woods on the cover, the latest title will run on Mac and PC and be available to stream directly from the net. The game sounds interesting, but much of yesterday’s blog post from EA Sports President Peter Moore focused on the choice to stick with Tiger:

“This decision will no doubt create some attention and further speculation about Tiger Woods, and about his relationship with sponsors. With that in mind, I want to shed some light on why EA SPORTS has decided to continue with Tiger on the masthead of this game.

Our relationship with Tiger has always been rooted in golf. We didn’t form a relationship with him so that he could act as an arm’s length endorser. Far from it. We chose to partner with Tiger in 1997 because we saw him as the world’s best, most talented and exciting golfer. We struck that partnership with the assumption that he would remain near or at the top of his sport for years to come. By his own admission, he’s made some mistakes off the course. But regardless of what’s happening in his personal life, and regardless of his decision to take a personal leave from the sport, Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest athletes in history. At EA SPORTS, we make authentic sports simulations. When we say “It’s in the Game”, it is not just a tag line but a statement about the quality and authenticity of the game experience. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online is truly representative of that rallying cry, and a game that all of us at EA SPORTS are proud to be delivering this month to sports console gaming fans around the globe.”

A couple of observations:

EA didn’t have much of a choice with this one.

Sure, they could have changed the title. But Moore says the game has been in closed beta for eight months, with over 75,000 people involved. They were already all-in on this one, making it more complicated to change the cover athlete than keep it the same. That’s not normally the case, but it’s different with Tiger, who’s head and shoulders above every other golfer in the world. Had the scandal hit six months earlier, EA could have spent time on a new strategy… in this case, there was too little time and too much else to do.

Moving forward, it will still be difficult to cut ties with Woods.

As I mentioned, Woods is on another level when it comes to golf. He doesn’t win every week and even struggles from time to time, but Tiger is still hands-down the best golfer on the planet. While they may prefer to cut Woods loose, Electronic Arts will have a tough time finding someone to match his star power, unless Jack Nicklaus is landing on a throwback title. The Tiger Woods PGA Tour series has been incredibly successful and could lose sales with a new cover athlete – Padraig Harrington PGA Tour 11 doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it? And he was Player of the Year in 2008. I don’t think EA changes the brand unless something even crazier emerges, and that brings me to my next point:

For this type of sponsor, personal life doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t hurt EA much to keep Woods.

This is really the main point Moore was trying to make. For EA, their relationship with Tiger is based on his ability as a golfer. And it makes sense, right, since their product is a golf game. Everyone buying the game enjoys golf to some degree, despite the fact that many were drawn to the sport by Tiger in the first place. Plenty of these people will ignore real-life golf although Woods takes his leave of absence, before returning to watch when he eventually returns. Fans of golf – video game, real or both – associate Tiger with the sport and care little about his personal life. Sure, the casual gamer may not buy the title, but I doubt the scandal has a big impact on sales.

With that said, the rules are different for a company like Accenture. Whilst EA hired Woods for his golf game, Accenture paid for his image. Yes, that image includes Tiger’s work ethic and on-course skills, but they expect model behavior away from the game. Just think about the brands and what they stand for – EA is “in the game,” even though Accenture is built on a reputation of high standards and strong ethics. Plus, as a consulting firm, they GIVE ADVICE… not really something that works well with Tiger’s image these days.

When it comes down to it, each brand is different and not every Tiger-related decision is equal. Nike, another sponsor to stay with Woods, is athletics-based. It makes sense that companies like that would make the same choice as EA. Of course, Nike may want to keep their “just do it” slogan out of Tiger’s ads… moving on… It’s still a tough decision for EA, but it’s the right one.

When it comes down to it, Electronic Arts could have gone either way with this one. There were reasons to cut ties with Woods and reasons to stick with him. But in the end, EA made the right choice for the long-term sales of their video game product. When he’s is back on the course winning majors, Tiger will be like Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and the other athletes we’ve seen forgiven by the American public. At that point, EA will be very happy with this decision.

Internet Gambling – The End Of Sports Betting

Is this the end for online sports betting and online poker?

On July 11, 2006 the House Of Representatives approved a crackdown on Internet gambling that would ban not only sports betting but also online poker and casino games. Once again big brother is flexing their political muscle and dictating to the American people that they know what is best for them. The reality though, is that the U.S. Government does not have a hand in this cash cow pie. They can’t regulate it, they can’t profit from it and therefore they must abolish it. This is a multi billion dollar industry that the U.S. is simply not a part of.

The ramifications of removing a multi billion dollar industry from society are so vast, that one could not possibly comprehend the entire fallout that would occur should the ban become law. People who bet on sports will continue to bet on sports. We will undoubtedly see an increase of underground Bookies. You know, the guys in the back of the pizza shop with 25 phone lines ringing off the hook. Perhaps we will begin to see more organized poker games in the back room of your local pool hall. Maybe your neighbor will set up a mini casino in the basement of his home and invite you over for some Baccarat. These are all plausible scenarios. None of which are desirable or healthy for society. The point is people who enjoy gambling will find a way to gamble. The U.S. Government is just making it dirtier for them to do so.

The real impact will be felt by those who are directly and indirectly associated with online sports books, casinos and poker rooms. These are some very large Companies with some very large marketing budgets. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent on their online advertising campaigns alone. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo will suffer an enormous loss of revenue should this bill become law. There will be no need for these Companies to advertise in newspapers or magazines, on the radio or television. All the revenue generated through these Companies marketing campaigns will vanish overnight.

There are also thousands of website Owners on the Internet that feed off of these Online gambling houses. Many of which make their living through affiliate programs that many of these poker rooms and sports books offer. It will be these Online entrepreneurs that will be affected the most. Not only will they lose the revenue that is generated through online gambling but they will lose whatever they have invested in the development, optimization and advertising campaigns associated with their websites.

You would think that the House Of Representatives would have more pressing matters to focus on. It seems big brother, is becoming a big pain, in the ass.

Courtesy Of Pro Picks Online

Direct TV – An Advanced Evolution of Dish Network

Direct TV is a direct broadcast satellite service that transmits digital satellite TV and audio to every residential and business customer. Direct TV provides television and audio services to subscribers through satellite transmissions.

One of the best features of Direct TV is that it delivers high- speed internet powered by Wild Blue to any home, virtually anywhere in US. So one can now access this service without even installing a phone line, viewers can download photos and music through this service.

Unlike Dish network, Dish TV also offers DVR services to record satellite TV however one has to pay an additional amount for DVR service. Along with this facility subscriber can also enjoy the benefits to view two or more dish channels on a single screen along with Dish TV connection.

The signals of Dish network are transmitted through the satellite which enables to give a better picture clarity and digital sound effects. One can enjoy a one year warranty on Direct TV equipments and providing with 225 channels facility.Dish TV also offers satellite TV receiver giving a remote control facility up to four rooms.

The installation of Dish network is reliable and professional installers take utmost care of the installation. The installer positions the dish for optimal reception and connects the receiver to the TV. One can also use a RG-6 coax cable to connect Dish TV receiver to the satellite dish.

Another important function is channel programming guide. Dish TV channel list is an important function for the satellite television viewer. It allows for the listing of satellite TV channels with their corresponding channel number. Dish network channel programming guide is divided into various sections such as news, general interest, sports, movies etc. Similar channels are grouped together; this makes it much easier for the viewer to find the specific listing that they are looking for.

One can now mail his payment in check to the Dish network Company or one can also pay his Direct TV bills by his credit cards it saves time and efforts from throwing your cheque into the mailbox. Currently Direct TV is working online enhancement that will allow its customer to view and pay their bill online.

Apart from this, Direct TV combines the power of Digital Video Recording with features such as pause, replay, rewind and recording live programs as well as scan up to 100 hours of your favorite saved Direct TV programs. All it takes is one click of the remote to record an episode, record a whole season, or just skip through commercials.

The High Definition system (HD) with Dish TV gets you access to over 130 channels which makes the latest movies in spectacular clarity and color. The Dish TV HD receiver features a customizable program guide that allows searching for shows up to 7 days in advance.

So, when it comes for selection, Dish TV stomps the competition. From sport to movies to news and even local channels, Dish TV delivers the widest variety of programming available.