Xbox 360 signs with NFL, touts video games for youth fitness

To get a sense for how much things have changed in the world of video games, look no further than the sponsorship deal announced this morning between Microsoft and the NFL.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has signed on as a multiyear NFL sponsor, becoming the official game console of the league and supporting the NFL Play 60 youth fitness program. Of course, video games aren’t traditionally known for promoting fitness, but motion controllers such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect are turning the pastime into a physical activity, and the NFL sponsorship will give Microsoft a high-profile new venue for promoting Kinect.

“We are pleased to welcome Xbox 360 and Kinect to the NFL family,” said Brian Rolapp, chief operating officer of NFL Media, in a news release announcing the sponsorship. “Fitness is core to our game, and we are looking forward to working with Kinect for Xbox 360 to evolve NFL PLAY 60 in new and innovative ways.”

Financial terms of the sponsorship weren’t disclosed.

Nintendo’s Wii, the console that started the motion-controller trend, last year received the American Heart Association’s seal of approval.