A marketing partnership between Donruss and video game giant EA Sports has led to the creation of a 28-card insert set found exclusively in packs of Donruss Gridiron Gear Football. The cards -- which feature computer-generated action images taken directly from the Madden 08 video game -- are a first step toward what company officials say they hope will be an ongoing relationship with EA.
"That was the whole point, to try to bridge the gap between the largest and most successful video game franchise in sports history and trading cards," says Donruss' Scott Prusha. "We're both trying to help each other in that regard. If our customer base sees Madden 08 cards in our product, they'll have another reason to get the game. And hopefully, collectors of the game will see trading cards, perhaps for the first time, as a destination pursuit.
"Our goal was to produce something creative and innovative this year and then expand the partnership next year."
The backs of the cards, which can be found two per retail box and one per hobby box, feature the respective player's Madden 08 power rating along with a detailed nugget about one of the game's 25 "weapons."
As expected, the 28-card checklist includes top NFL superstars such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Vince Young and Reggie Bush; but it also features some rare trading card appearances for the likes of Steelers guard Alan Faneca and Chargers offensive tackle Marcus McNeill.
"We tried to pick the best players in the NFL to match the attributes that EA picked for the game," Prusha notes. "We added a few top rookies and a few guys who don't normally get trading cards in the name of collectibility."