By many accounts, Major League Soccer is the fastest growing soccer league in the world. The league has doubled in size since 2007.
As the popularity of MLS continues to grow, the strength of the partnership between Major League Soccer and EA’s world soccer brand is growing. This week, EA and MLS announced the multi-year extension of their licensing partnership.
As EA seeks to continue its concentration on a younger market, MLS’s footprint with its target demographic is being touted as a plus in the partnership for the game publisher.
“As the world’s game continues to grow in North America, so does our ability to curate soccer experiences that represent a rapidly evolving fan base,” said David Jackson, VP of Brand for EA Sports FIFA. “Given that MLS has one of the youngest and most diverse fan populations in North American sports, it will be increasingly important to engage the next generation in new and immersive ways. We believe this partnership gives us a great opportunity to do so, while continues to deliver the most innovative and expansive football experiences available anywhere in the world.”
According to the press release: “the partnership will deepen the league’s integration into EA Sports’ global soccer franchise, including FIFA 23 and beyond, to deliver the most immersive and authentic gaming experience for millions of MLS fans, one of the youngest and most diverse fan bases in North American sports. The renewed partnership will continue to promote MLS’ authentic integration into the game, with fans able to play with their favorite MLS clubs, players and stadiums.”
Both EA and MLS released statements confirming the upside of their continued partnership.
“Major League Soccer is proud to partner with EA as they align with the league’s vision to be innovative and authentic in our approach to connecting with our passionate supporters and the next generation of fans,” said Rachel Hoagland, MLS Senior Vice President of Consumer Products. “We look forward to working with EA for many years to come in creative ways to further grow our fan base through interactivity during this incredible time of growth for MLS.”
MLS has its own eSports vehicle and FIFA announced in the press release that it will continue to sponsor eMLS League Series 1, 2 and the organization’s eMLS Cup.
The multi-year partnership will also manifest itself in enhanced social media campaigns and digital reach across multiple platforms. MLS and several other world soccer leagues will be represented in the upcoming FIFA 23, which launches on game consoles and PC on September 30.