November 13th, 2012 by Aaron Kr.
Sneaker News: Can you tell us a little about your personal sneaker background and how you came to help spearhead these collaborative projects with Nike ?
Chris Erb: I have been a sneaker collector forever. I am a little over 400 pair deep. Although I am a Jordan III and XI collector, my biggest collection to-date are the Air Max 95’s. That has always been my favorite shoe. In reference to the collaborative projects with Nike, EA SPORTS has been working with shoe companies for years to make sure we have the latest and greatest shoes in our games to add to our authenticity. With the growth of both the gaming industry and mobile gaming, the EA Sports brand has started to evolve into a lifestyle brand. People were proud of their passion for the brand, but didn’t have a lot of ways to show their love. That’s what really started the discussion with Nike. There is a huge crossover between the shoe and gaming communities. Our collaborations create something that is able to build energy amongst our shared consumers and provides an outlet for them to show their passion.
SN: Nike and EA are both at the top of their fields so the partnership makes perfect sense, but where did it start and who approached who to team up?
CE: It was definitely a mutual start to the discussions. It really started in earnest around our 2010 games. We had been doing some small one-off projects in the past and wanted to do something on a larger scale with a more constant cadence. The partnership initially started with Tim Tebow when we signed Tim for our NCAA game; Nike and I both felt that this was a great opportunity for the brands to officially collaborate.