Electronic Arts and LaLiga have entered into a "one of a kind," multi-year partnership that will encompass experiences both within video games and Spanish soccer, the two companies announced Tuesday.
The deal gives EA title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions, as well as a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements. The deal will cover La Liga, La Liga 2, LaLiga Promises, the league’s annual youth tournament, and eLaLiga, the esports league of LaLiga.
The partnership is set to launch in the 2023-24 season of soccer in which, following the release and development cycle of FIFA 23, the series will be known as EA Sports FC. According to Marca (H/T Eurogamer), the deal will cost EA €30 million euros annually.
"EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football," EA Sports FC VP of brand David Jackson said in a press release. "Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the center of football culture. The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives."
In October 2021, FIFA made a surprising announcement about its "bullish" and "optimistic" view of a future of gaming and esports for soccer stakeholders in which more than one party is "controlling and exploiting all rights."
Earlier that month, it was also reported that FIFA was seeking to double its payout from what it currently receives from EA Sports, taking the figure to over $1 billion USD every four years.
EA currently has a 10-year naming deal with FIFA that is set to expire without renewal after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ends in December.
In February, EA CEO Andrew Wilson reportedly told his staff in an internal company meeting that the three-decade-long exclusivity partnership with FIFA has been an "impediment" to the growth of its soccer video games.
"EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences," LaLiga president Javier Tebas said in a press release. "We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football."