If you didn’t already know, Square-Enix is sponsoring the 2010 NBA All-Star game today with Final Fantasy XIII. Here’s the press release:
New York, NY – February 10, 2010 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Square Enix Inc. (Square Enix) today announced a promotional partnership that will make FINAL FANTASY® XIII – the latest in the world-renowned action-packed role-playing videogame series that has shipped more than 92 million units – the presenting partner of the 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.As the presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, FINAL FANTASY XIII will have prominent exposure throughout Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, where the game will be played. The role-playing videogame, which features futuristic characters and gameplay, will receive significant presence during the broadcast on ESPN, which will televise the NBA All-Star event for the sixth consecutive year. There will also be a dedicated FINAL FANTASY XIII area at NBA All-Star Jam Session where fans will be able to preview the videogame, which will be available for both PlayStation®3 and the Xbox 360® on March 9, 2010.
“FINAL FANTASY XIII ,the next evolution in videogame entertainment, will appeal to first time players and series fans alike,” said John Yamamoto, President and CEO of Square Enix, Inc., “We are delighted to be the presenting partner at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and give fans a chance to experience the most highly anticipated game of the year before it launches on March 9.”
“FINAL FANTASY is a storied brand in the videogame category and this partnership will bring an exciting new element to this year’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President of Marketing Partnerships. “A good portion of our fanbase overlaps with the young, videogame-playing audience, so it is a natural fit for us to partner with a leading franchise like FINAL FANTASY around one of our marquee All-Star events.”
The 2010 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by FINAL FANTASY XIII will tip off on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. CST from NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas inside the Dallas Convention Center. This year’s celebrity participants will include a cast of players from film, TV, and music who will be outfitted in retro 1986 NBA All-Star uniforms paying tribute to NBA All-Star 1986 in Dallas. The game will also feature former NBA players and current WNBA players.
FINAL FANTASY XIII marks the dawning of a new era for the celebrated franchise, bringing the series to multiple high-definition consoles simultaneously for the first time in its history. The series is defined by a constant evolution, offering nothing less than the finest creative vision, graphical quality and gameplay system of its generation with every installment, and FINAL FANTASY XIII will be no exception to its legacy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, mass advertising is a great idea, but I think Square-Enix is definitely targeting the wrong crowd, especially with a game as Japanese as Final Fantasy XIII. Perhaps they would have done better to get an ad spot in before Avatar like they did in Japan, 3D and all.