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games people play

Electronic Arts’ Best Game: Avoiding Taxes

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 12, 2011 12:58 PM

When you contemplate the generous — some would say scandalous — tax breaks enjoyed by large companies, the benefiting brands you probably recall are multinational conglomerates like GE or “too big to fail” financial firms like Goldman Sachs.

But in addition to the kinds of brands that keep PR armies constantly marching in defense of their reputations, one sector that’s enjoyed extraordinary joy every April 15, according to the New York Times, is the gaming industry.

The Times focuses on Electronic Arts, which over the last five years paid $98 million in taxes – which sounds like a painful tax bill until you compute that if EA paid the full official US corporate tax rate of 35 percent, it would have shelled out $420 million on its $1.2 billion in profits.

Conspiracy theorists could claim that IRS agents are huge fans of EA’s Madden football game franchise, but the reality is that the company can take advantage of its three-headed brand identity: it’s a software-development brand, an entertainment brand, and an online retailing brand.Continue reading...

branding together

EA Sports’ NBA Jam Adds European Flair with Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2011 11:57 AM

When Turkish Airlines signed on for five years of being the sole sponsor of Euroleague Basketball, the professional basketball league in Europe, it likely had no idea that it would (a) be getting a lot of press because current NBA players have either signed or are considering playing there this season if the NBA’s lockout continues, and (b) had no idea their name would be plastered onto one of the world’s most popular video games: NBA Jam.

SportBusiness.com reports that Euroleague Basketball has signed a licensing deal with Electronic Arts to use its players and teams in NBA Jam. This is the first time that European players and teams are featured in the game, beginning with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, according to the EA/Euroleague press release on the partnership.

“All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four,” said a statement from the league. And if video-game players get bored of playing with the Carmelo Anthonys and Kevin Durants of the NBA part of the game, they can get a little dose of international flair and take control of such players as Dimitris Diamantidis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, or Carlos Suarez.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Quiznos, Apple, Lady Gaga & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 11, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple goes after HTC and Android phones with ITC complaint, while iTunes may test 1080p movies.

Citi, Wells Fargo and Visa are adding Groupon-like in-network deals.

EA acquires social gaming firm Ohai.

Google acquires Punchd, a digital loyalty startup.

Lady Gaga plans to intern for royal hatmaker Philip Treacy.

Microsoft is phasing out Windows XP.

NCR buys Radiant Systems for $1.2 billion.

Nortel patent sale cleared for Apple/Microsoft/RIM consortium.

Quiznos hires financial advisers for restructuring.


EA Expands Brand With Retail Outlets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 4, 2011 09:00 AM

Electronic Arts — better known as EA — has been around since 1982 and created such video games as SimCity, Rock Band, NBA Live, and Madden NFL, among plenty of others. Titles like that are why the company had 3.654 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2010.

The company has had great success with building and maintaining an audience through Facebook, but it's also dedicated to offline marketing, including expanding into EA-branded retail stores this year.Continue reading...

personal brands

There's the Rub: Tiger Woods Pitches Japanese Pain-Killer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 30, 2011 07:00 PM

Golfer Tiger Woods once pulled in “an estimated $100 million annually” just on endorsement deals, according to the Wall Street Journal, but those numbers have dropped since a 2009 sex scandal that left him divorced and $750 million poorer, according to FOX News.

Some companies that Woods endorsed, such as Accenture, AT&T, and Gatorade severed ties with him after the scandal, but it’s hard to feel sorry for the 35-year-old golfer, who still brings in an annual paycheck from Nike, Electronic Arts, TAG Heuer, Upper Deck Co., and TLC Laser Eye Centers for endorsing their products and services. 

And now you can add one more endorsement deal to that list for Woods, who's currently sidelined by a knee injury: the Vantelin Kowa heat rub for joint and muscle pain, produced by the pharma arm of Japan's Kowa Group.

Wait: Tiger Balm wasn't interested?Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: J&J, EA, Foursquare & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

Anheuser-Busch top marketer exits for AT&T.

Coca-Cola raises prices.

EA applauds US Supreme Court decision to strike down California's ban on violent videogame sales.

Foursquare secures another $50M in capital, adds Ritz-Carlton concierge check-ins.

Genentech lobbies FDA on behalf of Avastin breast cancer drug.

Google expands +1 functionality.

J&J to link up product marketing; admits unit name change won't change anything.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Harry Potter, Best Buy, Levi Strauss & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 23, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple's "app store" trademark suit likely to fail; COO Tim Cook visits China to talk 4G, may offer new iPhone in September.

Bacardi and Live Entertainment partner for social promotion.

Best Buy launches Music Cloud service.

BP faces fresh fingerpointing by Transocean.

China plans a cloud computing zone.

Clearasil reaches out to teens via Facebook and Lollapalooza.

CSN Stores rebrands as Wayfair.com.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, EA, Chrysler & more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Acer faces rising tablet challenge.

American Family tops insurance-satisfaction ranking.

Bing, Google and Yahoo partner on web standards.

Chevron boosts Gulf of Mexico production.

EA launches Origin, a consumer gaming platform.

Facebook testifies that Ceglia e-mails were forged.

Fiat buys rest of US government stake in Chrysler.Continue reading...

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