- Partnership worth over UK£80m per year – more than double existing contract
- EA continuing marketing push ahead of EA Sports FC release
The 20 clubs in English soccer’s top flight were briefed about the partnership, which is set to net the league more than UK£80 million (US$96.4 million) annually and would see EA continue as a lead partner and retain its exclusive electronic game licence.
The extension is said to be worth more than double the existing pact. The Premier League and EA have had commercial ties dating back to 1998, with the company becoming the top flight’s first official sports technology partner in 2010. EA then became a lead partner of the Premier League in 2016.
California-headquartered EA had already deepened its ties with the Premier League last August when it inked an agreement with Sky Sports to sponsor the UK pay-TV network’s top-flight coverage. The tie-up also includes campaigns across the broadcaster’s digital channels.
The reported value of EA’s extension reaffirms the Premier League as soccer’s commercially dominant domestic competition. Beyond that, it signals EA’s latest marketing push as prepares to launch its first major soccer title later this year since calling time on its 30-year partnership with Fifa.
Starting in 2023, EA’s soccer games will be released under the under the ‘EA Sports FC’ banner and will include more than 300 licences, giving players access to 19,000 players, 700 teams, 100 stadiums and 30 leagues. EA is working hard to ensure the loss of the Fifa licence will have minimal impact on its soccer title, which is effectively a continuation of the FIFA franchise in all but name. The lack of a genuine competitor in the space also reduces the threat of a rival publisher landing the Fifa licence.
Even so, EA is doubling down on efforts to associate itself with soccer’s biggest leagues, including Spain’s LaLiga, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A. Strengthening its commitment to the Premier League is the latest tactic to ensure EA Sports FC hits the ground running when it releases, with the current FIFA 23 game on track to be the biggest title in the history of the franchise.
PA Media contributed this report.