The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and EA SPORTS have agreed to an early prolongation of their long-standing partnership, extending the deal for another two seasons. The cooperation with the world’s leading video game publisher dates back to 1998 and will now continue until at least 2027.
Fundamental to the partnership, EA SPORTS will retain exclusive licence rights for match simulation. The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will thus remain an integral part of the popular EA SPORTS FC video game series – the only football simulator that authentically presents the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 including all 36 clubs, all players and the German Supercup. As Official Partner, EA SPORTS will also remain the Bundesliga presentation partner for the popular “Player of the Month” and “Player of the Season” awards and will continue to implement a range of marketing campaigns in cooperation with the clubs.
Over 25 years, the partnership with EA SPORTS has constantly evolved and continuously grown in strategic importance. In 2012, the DFL became the first professional football league in the world to launch its own eFootball competition in partnership with EA SPORTS, namely the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL). To this day, the VBL is still the only competition of a professional league to be directly integrated into the football simulation game. The competition, which is open to all single players, has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity with up to 130,000 participants per season. In 2018, the DFL and EA SPORTS also launched the VBL Club Championship. The DFL Members Assembly incorporated the VBL as an eFootball competition of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in the DFL statutes in May 2022.
DFL CEO Steffen Merkel: “Year after year, EA SPORTS releases a premium football simulator that thrills fans all over the world. EA SPORTS FC deepens the connection between millions of fans and their favourite players and clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, which are an important part of the video game series. That the partnership has existed since 1998 underscores the shared conviction behind the cooperation, which is characterised by constant and successful evolution.”
DFL CEO Marc Lenz: “The cooperation with EA SPORTS is much more than a licensing partnership – it is of high strategic importance. Our core aim is to reach young fans and find new ways to spark their interest in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. EA SPORTS FC is a successful part of this strategy, because the licensing partnership and the Virtual Bundesliga increase the visibility of our leagues and clubs.”
Peer Naubert, Chief Marketing Officer of Bundesliga International, the DFL subsidiary responsible for global marketing and the worldwide distribution of international media rights and commercial partnerships: “The contract renewal confirms the positive development of our global licensing and sponsorship partnerships and underscores the global appeal of the Bundesliga brand as well as the significant growth that the DFL generates for clubs. For many years, our collaboration with EA SPORTS has been characterised by a high degree of trust and appreciation – so we are very much looking forward to building on our work together in the years to come.”
Cam Weber, President of EA SPORTS: “Authenticity is core to the EA SPORTS experience, and through our renewed partnership with the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, we’ll bring the fierce competition and legendary clubs and teams from one of the greatest leagues in global football to fans worldwide. Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are key to building an innovative and evolving football platform for fans, and we’re thrilled that the DFL shares our vision for the future of football.”