EA Locks NFL Esports License After Deal Renewal
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EA and Sports. The two words go together like bacon and eggs, and EA’s close association with a particular sport is set to continue into the future. As the title suggests, the partnership between the NFL and EA has continued to pay off, with EA announcing that it has extended its relationship with the NFL on esports for several additional, undisclosed years. That means more Madden for everyone.
“As a trusted partner for over 30 years, EA’s commitment to football authenticity with Madden NFL is exemplary,” said NFL Vice President of Video Games Ed Kiang. “Expanding our partnership with EA is another avenue for the League to grow fandom off the field and enhance the EA Sports Madden NFL Championship Series by aligning competitive Madden play with NFL moments. Our joint efforts will generate the kind of excitement NFL fans expect while highlighting the best Madden players in the world.
Of course, it is extremely important for this discussion that we underline the very specific nature of the agreement. This is a consolidation and extension of a relationship that involves esports, the NFL and EA, not exclusivity on the development of NFL titles. While there aren’t many NFL or NFL-adjacent options, it’s not a by-product of a license held by EA, just a lack of competition in that market. It’s not something you see in most other top-tier sports, with the NBA largely – but not entirely – dominated by 2K, EA as the dominant force in football. and PlayStation the powerhouse in the MLB space. While nothing is stopping another developer or publisher from entering the space, this particular esports deal does all but guarantee that fans of all things football will be glued to EA titles simply because they have that extra level of support that other games just won’t be allowed to come close to.
EA has had a lot of success with its partnership with the NFL, having seen the Madden Championship The series quadruples its average viewership per minute compared to the previous season. During that time, the MCS Championships were streamed on a host of platforms, including Twitch and YouTube, the NFL YouTube Channel, ESPN, and the ESPN app. Hilariously and unsurprisingly, Campbell’s Chunky Soup became a title sponsor and purchased the virtual naming rights to the MCS site. It will now be called Campbell’s Chunky Stadium. In a final indication of the popularity and profitability of the esports side of the NFL, the 2022 Madden Championship Series will feature a $1.7 million prize pool for the season. This is a sum of money that no one can take lightly and further underlines the incredible popularity of the platform. EA is onto a big winner here.
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