EA Sports in long-term data and streaming sponsorship deal with EFL
EA Sports, the sports arm of the video game publisher Electronic Arts, has today unveiled a comprehensive data and sponsorship agreement with English soccer’s second-tier English Football League.
Under the six-year deal, EA Sports becomes the official on-screen data partner of the EFL and the first sponsor of its new overseas digital streaming service iFollow.
iFollow, which was announced in May, will enable fans of clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two based outside the UK and Ireland to watch their team’s matches throughout the EFL season.
Subscribers will pay the equivalent of £110 ($144.85) per season for access to up to 46 live games per club via a service similar to those already operated by top North American leagues such as the NFL and NBA.
However, these will not include those matches selected for live coverage by the EFL’s international rights-holders or those of around 10 clubs that have not signed up to the venture as they want to provide their own service.
The EFL's deal with EA Sports will entail branding for the company across the new platform and alongside on-screen statistics during streams.
In addition, EA Sports will be able to use the EFL as a marketing platform to promote its EA Sports Fifa 18 video game and “engage a global audience of football fans”.
EA Sports has been an official video game licensee of the EFL for the past eight years.
It is also prominent sponsor and ‘lead partner’ of the top-tier Premier League in a deal that runs until the end of the 2018-19 season.
Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the EFL, commented: “EA Sports is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world and I am delighted to see our relationship grow into a wider partnership that will reach millions of football fans worldwide.
“The new iFollow platform provides a significant opportunity and new revenue stream for EFL Clubs that will also present fans living abroad with improved and regular access to the team they support, week in week out.
“This new partnership will also enhance our traditional broadcast coverage globally as well providing EA SPORTS with an important marketing and communications vehicle that will assist in the continued engagement of their target audience.”
The EA Sports deal with the Premier League includes on-screen branding on all the league’s global broadcasts, sponsorship of the official Player of the Month and Season Awards, integration in stadia pre-match and sponsorship of Fantasy Premier League, the online game accessible via www.premierleague.com.
EA Sports is also a long-term licensee of the Premier League and in 2010 the relationship was upgraded to full sponsorship level, with the company’s logo appearing next to match statistics in live broadcasts of games.
The EFL has this week announced the international broadcasters for the 2017-18 season, which gets under way tomorrow evening.