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EA Sports uses student video for Tiger Woods' game promo

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Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:00 am

When Bryan Levi executed the "Jesus Shot" in a Tiger Woods video game, he didn't imagine it would lead to seeing the real Tiger doing the same thing.

Levi's video posted to YouTube, titled "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 Jesus Shot," shows the digital Woods hitting a shot from the middle of a water hazard for a par. During the clip, Levi (senior-media studies) jokingly refers to the shot as an option in the game.

"I mean, I've seen glitches before, but this was a big glitch," he said. "I had to grab a camera when it happened and share it with other people."

Levi was living at Beta Sigma Beta fraternity at the time of the "Jesus Shot's" occurrence. He posted the video soon after it happened, on Aug. 30, 2007.

The video saw moderate traffic until two weeks ago, when EA Sports, maker of T iger Woods PGA Tour 08 , posted a response to Levi's video, featuring the real Tiger Woods walking on water, dipping his club in it and hitting a ball off a lily pad.

EA's clip promotes this year's version of the game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 , and closes with the line "It's not a glitch. He's just that good."

Though that line has led many people to comment on Levi's video to say EA "owned" him, Levi thinks it's ironic.

"Everyone's saying I got owned by EA Sports," he said. "Which is kind of funny because they paid me, and they complimented my video."

Levi did not disclose the amount he was paid.

Praveeta Singh, product manager for EA Sports, said the idea for doing the response video came from EA's out-of-house advertising agency. She also said EA Sports was on board with having some fun with the glitch.

"When the idea was brought to us, we said, 'We make video games. It's a fun environment; we're not afraid of making fun of ourselves,' " Singh said.

Since the EA clip was posted on Aug. 19, it has garnered more than 1.7 million views, 2,700 comments and 5,500 ratings at a five-star average, while the viewer count on Levi's original video has jumped from "about 50,000" to more than 500,000, Levi said.

"It's been great, and the majority of people really find it hilarious," Singh said. "That's what we wanted -- people to just see the fun in it."

As for Levi, he's enjoying his moment in the sun.

"I think it's pretty cool," he said. "I'm getting a lot of publicity."

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