EA Sports' Madden cover fan vote has been a massive marketing success, and this year, the publisher is trying to engage hockey fans in the same way by letting them choose the NHL 13 cover athlete. The voting is open right now at nhl.com/covervote, with two representatives from each of the 30 NHL teams facing off against each other. It'll be fun to see if the Rangers' Brad Richards can get past his goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, or if Jimmy Howard will stonewall fellow Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk.
Voting in the Round of 60 runs from today through April 11, with one pick from each team plus two of EA's wild card selections advancing to the 32-Player Leaderboard. The top 16 vote-getters from April 12 to April 22 will make it to the Round of 16. EA will then set up a single-elimination playoff bracket, and votes cast between April 24 and June 4 will decide the winner. As the video above points out, recent NHL cover athletes don't seem to suffer from a Madden-like "curse," so EA is encouraging fans to vote for their favorite players and tweet their choices with #NHL13Cover.
A few big-name stars are noticeably absent from the bracket; perhaps EA was unable to negotiate with them. Still, if the initial tallies are any indication, the NHL 13 vote will bring a lot of publicity to a less popular sport -- CNBC's Darren Rovell reports that fans cast one million votes within the first four hours of the campaign. You can vote as many times as you like once you register on NHL.com, so get to it!
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