The competition's eventual winner will become the core material and inspiration behind the Football Manager 2005 branding, with the winning designer working with a top London design agency to finalise the logo ready for use in everything from the packaging and advertising, to within the game itself.
"It's traditional to respond to a competition such as this one by remarking on the quality of entrants, but in this case I feel that I have to go a little further by commenting on the quantity too," says Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive. "It took an enormous amount of time and effort to whittle this virtual avalanche of entries down to the final shortlist of 10, but it was definitely a worthwhile process as I would be happy for any of these finalists to grace our packaging when Football Manager is released later this year. People worked really hard on their logo's, and it's a shame that there can only be 10 finalists."
Now that the shortlist has been chosen, SI is handing over the responsibility for choosing the ultimate winner to its loyal fanbase. From today, the 10 candidate logos go on display on the SI website (www.sigames.com) as well as on those of its media partners, ESPNSoccernet (www.espnsoccernet.com), Game (www.game.net) and GamesRadar (www.gamesradar.com). Visitors to each of these sites will be asked to vote for their favourite logo, with the least popular being eliminated as the days unfold.
The first round of voting finishes at midnight on Sunday April 25th, at which point the three least popular logos will be removed from the list. Three more will be 'voted off' after the second round closes at midnight on Wednesday, April 28th, while a further two will be out of the running when round three closes at midnight on Sunday, May 2nd. Voters will then be asked to choose between the remaining two candidates until voting finally closes at midnight on Wednesday, May 5th.
The winner, whose name will be revealed on Friday, May 7th will receive a cheque for £10,000. The nine losing finalists' efforts will not go unrewarded either, as each of them will receive a year's supply of Sports Interactive games and other SI merchandise.
Football Manager 2005 will be published by SEGA in the final quarter of 2004. Further information is available from the Sports Interactive website, www.sigames.com.