Major League Soccer (MLS), the top tier of domestic men’s soccer in the US, has renewed its agreement with video game developer EA Sports on the eve of the league’s final regular season games.
The deal will run for a further five years, and will see EA Sports continue to work alongside MLS on collecting and analysing in-game data.
EA Sports will also exclusively retain the rights to use player, team and league likenesses for its flagship Fifa game series, and the company will continue to advertise at all MLS fixtures.
The original deal only covered licensing rights, but in recent years EA Sports has grown into data insight markets as its reach has grown. It holds similar deals with England’s Premier League, La Liga in Spain and a number of top European teams.
With just one game of the MLS regular season left to play, there are still a number of play-off places up for grabs. Philadelphia Union are all but certain to take the last remaining Eastern Conference place, while Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City and last year’s winners Portland Timbers will battle it out for the final three Western Conference slots.