Electronic Arts, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association have announced a multiyear renewal of their partnership, marking the NFL’s most expansive gaming agreement to date.
OneTeam Partners facilitated the new deal for the NFLPA as its digital games licensing representative. The agreement is the first major new NFLPA licensing deal negotiated by OneTeam.
Under the partnership, the EA Sports “Madden NFL” franchise will exclusively create football simulation games, and EA Sports, the NFL and the NFLPA will partner to develop games in new genres, expanded esports programs and additional experiences for fans across more platforms.
“EA has been a trusted partner for more than 30 years, and they continue to bring innovation, authenticity and creativity to everything they do, and we are certainly a great example of that as evidenced by the huge success of ‘Madden NFL 20,’” says Gorger Godell, commissioner, The National Football League. “The expansion of this partnership is not only about the continued success of the ‘Madden NFL’ franchise but also the creation of new avenues for our fans to connect with the sport they love.”
The agreement comes at a time when the world is playing and watching more “Madden NFL” than ever before as NFL fandom worldwide continues to grow. Unique players have grown by 30 percent year-over-year; monthly average players have reached an all-time high; more than 330 million hours of the game have been played; and more than one billion minutes have been watched on Twitch since launch. In April alone, player levels nearly doubled from last year, and great community and celebrity-athlete competitions broadcast throughout the month led to the equivalent of 2,600 NFL seasons of “Madden NFL 20” content watched by viewers around the world.
“Madden NFL” esports also had its biggest year yet, with broadcasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1 bringing Madden NFL competitive programming to tens of millions of fans.
“Building on the most successful year ever for ‘Madden NFL,’ this is a powerful time for EA Sports to come together with the NFL and the NFLPA in this new wide-reaching partnership,” says Andrew Wilson, chief executive officer, Electronic Arts. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to entertain more players through new ‘Madden NFL’ experiences, games in new genres and on new platforms, esports and new innovations that will grow fans’ love of the NFL around the world.”
EA Sports, the NFL and the NFLPA will also partner on new experiences and more ways for fans around the world to connect with the excitement of NFL football. This will include games in new genres with more forms of play and self-expression, available on more platforms, including expanded offerings for mobile players. Esports will also continue to grow, with increased competitive programs and broadcast content to reach and entertain more fans. This partnership will also focus on design, visualization and development innovations to grow and deepen the world of “Madden NFL,” impacting how it plays and feels and how players connect to the world of the NFL as it happens.
“EA Sports and Madden NFL are such pivotal points of connection for NFL players, the sport and its fans,” says DeMaurice Smith, executive director, NFLPA and board member, OneTeam Partners. “We have a shared vision to expand the fan base of football through interactivity, and we’re thrilled to continue our strong partnership with EA Sports to bring this to life in more ways than ever.”