Game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has announced a major renewal of its partnership with the National Football League (NFL).
The partnership will see both brands continue to work together on developing the esports scene for Madden NFL Esports, specifically the Madden NFL Championship Series (MCS). The renewed agreement will further align MCS with NFL events, with EA and the American football league working on creating content around competitors in the game. MCS’ prize has also been increased this season to $1.7m (£1.4m).
The multi-year extension comes after a successful MCS season. According to EA, the 2021 season was the most viewed in Madden Esports history, recording four times as many views compared to the year before.
NFL and EA are determined to maximise reach and engagement for the league and have announced that the esports season will end with the Ultimate Madden NFL 23 Bowl, an event hosted during the week of the Super Bowl LVII. Campbell’s Chunky Soup is also returning as a partner for the event and will also hold naming rights for the aptly named virtual Campbell’s Chunky Stadium.
The season will start in August with the Ultimate Kickoff and will continue with the Ultimate Thanksgiving event in October and November. The Ultimate Wild Card event will take place in November and December (qualifiers) and January. Last Chance Qualifiers are also set for January, and the grand finals are to be held in February.
Ed Kiang, VP, Video Gaming at the NFL, commented: “Extending our partnership with EA is another avenue for the League to grow fandom off the field and enhance the EA SPORTS Madden NFL Championship Series by aligning Madden competitive gaming with NFL moments.”