In a press release announcing both the game and the endorsement, The9 explains that Maradona has provided autographed soccer balls that can be won as prizes for participating in in-game events. That might seem like a pretty modest endorsement (what, no international TV ads? No life-size standees in supermarkets?), but in the relatively young world of Facebook gaming, it's a pretty big deal. In fact, we can't think of a single social game yet that's been backed by this level of star power -- or any star power, for that matter.
So while we're not all that impressed with Winning Goal or it's somewhat rinky-dink endorsement deal, we felt this moment was worth noting as yet another sign that the business of social games is becoming more and more like the business of traditional games every day. So... um... note it! Yeah!