The Premier League is set to reach a commercial deal with video-games maker Electronic Arts (EA) worth close to £500m. The 20 Premier League clubs were briefed during a meeting on Friday about the new six-year partnership with EA Sports worth about £488m that is close to being finalized. The extension is said to be worth more than double the existing deal between the two parties and would deliver more than £80m annually.
Key Details of the Deal
Under the new partnership, EA will remain the Premier League’s lead partner and retain its exclusive electronic game license. This shows the commercial strength of the Premier League and has helped convince would-be defectors who considered joining the European Super League in 2021. The lucrative extension has underlined why Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus are keen to push through with the European Super League plans, as LaLiga and Serie A clubs currently cannot compete commercially with the Premier League.
Premier League’s Long-standing Relationship with EA
The Premier League and EA have had a commercial relationship dating back to 1998, according to one source. EA has been a lead partner of the Premier League since 2016 and has a market value of about $30bn. This new partnership comes as Liverpool and Manchester United draw interest from potential new investors at multibillion-pound valuations.
Response from the Parties Involved
The Premier League declined to comment on Friday, while EA stated, “We don’t comment on details of commercial relationships, or discussions with our partners. We’re proud to have a long-standing partnership with the Premier League and its clubs, and appreciate their support in our plans for EA SPORTS FC. We have nothing to announce today.”
Breaking Ties with FIFA
News of the impending partnership comes months after it emerged that EA and FIFA, world football’s governing body, were severing their ties after 30 years. The series of games bearing the FIFA name, which feature teams and players from the world’s top leagues, including England, is set to be rebranded under the EA name.
In conclusion, the new partnership between the Premier League and EA Sports highlights the financial robustness of the Premier League and its ability to attract high-value commercial deals. The deal also underlines why major European clubs are keen to join the European Super League.