EA Sports, the creator of sports video games including Madden NFL and Tiger Woods PGA, is partnering with the University of Central Florida to provide student internship opportunities that could build up the Orlando digital industry and lead to employment with the gaming giant.
Under the deal announced Friday, UCF students in the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy will be able to work in the new EA SPORTS Innovation Lab that will be part of the UCF Center for Emerging Media in Downtown Orlando.
“Our collective goal for the center and our EA SPORTS Innovation Lab is to create even more job opportunities for Florida graduates, right here in Central Florida,” Daryl Holt, vice president and chief operating officer of EA SPORTS, stated in a release. “By establishing pipelines directly into existing Orlando-based digital media businesses, including our local EA SPORTS studio, EA-Tiburon, we can keep creating jobs in the state of Florida.”
Gov. Rick Scott and state Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, attended the event, advertised as a job announcement, at the university’s interactive academy.
“Florida is fortunate to have high-tech companies like EA SPORTS that infuse millions of dollars into our state’s economy every year and provide jobs for hundreds of Floridians,” Scott stated in a release. “The partnership between UCF and EA SPORTS will foster Florida’s homegrown talent and train Floridians for those jobs,”
“Preparing Florida students for high-tech jobs, along with our state’s competitive economic incentives, gives Florida an advantage over other states and ensures high-value businesses open their doors in our state, instead of somewhere else.”
Since the Legislature approved a bill sponsored by Precourt in 2010, providing economic incentives to digital and interactive media production companies in the state, the Redwood City, California-based EA Sports has created more than 150 jobs in the Orlando area.
The school isn’t the first state university tapping into the digital design field.
Last year, Florida State University’s film school joined with Digital Domain to set up a digital media research center in West Palm Beach.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.