DFL extends long-running ties with EA Sports and FIFA series
The DFL, the German soccer league, today extended its commercial agreement with Electronic Arts, the US video games developer, ensuring the Bundesliga's official representation in the popular FIFA series.
EA, an official partner of Bundesliga since 1998, will retain the exclusive licence rights for match simulation, covering the top flight, the second-tier 2. Bundesliga and German Supercup as well as all clubs and players.
Robert Klein, chief executive of Bundesliga International, the league's worldwide commercial sales arm, said today: “In a relationship spanning more than 20 years, we have seen the rise and rise of EA Sports FIFA, to it becoming one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Through EA Sports FIFA, fans across the globe are connected to the Bundesliga, its world class players and unique clubs. We look forward to working with EA on multiple projects, this season and into the future.”
Nick Wlodyka, vice-president and general manager of EA Sports FIFA, added: “Our partnership with Bundesliga further cements EA Sports FIFA as the most authentic, interactive football experience in the world. Only in FIFA 21 can the Bundesliga’s millions of fans play as all 18 clubs, from last year’s champions to newly promoted teams – stepping out in stadia from Paderborn's Benteler-Arena, to the Stadion an der Alten Försterei in Berlin or even competing in Der Klassiker in front of Signal Iduna Park's yellow wal. We’re excited to continue to build on our Bundesliga partnership, supporting the ambitious tech capabilities and esports vision of the DFL.“
Under the terms of the renewal, the DFL and EA Sports will look to further develop the Virtual Bundesliga, the esports league. With close to 130,000 participants, the single-player competition VBL Open is the most popular FIFA esports competition of any professional football league.
Since 2018-19, there has also been the VBL Club Championship, in which Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga clubs compete.
Other DFL official partners include ball supplier Derbystar, Amazon Web Services, Topps and Mondelez International.
Such commercial partnerships are understood to be bring in around €50 million ($58.35 million), with the expectation that will grow in future seasons.
Sportcal's exclusive interview with Klein was published earlier today.