FIFA, between name change and big money stories

FIFA, between name change and big money stories

If we were to believe the testimonies collected by the American daily, the negotiations going on for at least two years over the renewal of the license contract would face a wall. So much so that a final break after the Qatar World Cup 2022, at the end of the tenth and final year of the contract between the two parties, was not excluded; At least that’s what the latest press release from Cam Weber, CEO and General Manager of EA Sports, suggested a few days ago. As is often the case at the time of renegotiation of rights to the royal sport, which is football, the sums requested are at the heart of the negotiations.

Also, according to New York Times sources, FIFA is already seeking more than double what it currently receives from EA Sports – about $150 million annually. This will increase the amount paid to more than $1 billion for a four-year cycle, similar to that of the current World Cup organization. The amount at stake will not be the sole reason for this deep dispute: FIFA and Electronic Arts will not be able to agree on what is supposed to include the exclusive rights relating to the license. And to make these disagreements public is nothing but insignificant to an observer particularly close to the matter, none other than Peter Moore. “I don’t remember that they ever issued a statement saying that we are in negotiations to renew the license“, he would answer to the former top manager of the company, before he became general manager of Liverpool FC since 2017, and reveal very clearly”small signal“.

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On the Electronic Arts side, the stranglehold on virtual football’s prestige in the absence of a real competitor would be enough to consider a name change. Officials undoubtedly appreciate the limited commercial damage in the case of the franchise which furthermore doubles the licensing agreements with the various clubs represented; The New York Times talks about another 300 contracts with other organisations, be it clubs, UEFA competitions or national leagues such as Ligue 1. Insofar as FIFA’s license does not grant EA Sports to use the organization’s name and logo, as well as rights to the World Cup for special editions every four Years, the American giant will not see the abandonment of the Evil Eye license. Undoubtedly, the US publisher has communicated quite freely about extending the contract linking it to FIFPro, the organization representing professional players on a global scale, to continue to use the image of athletes in particular.

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Who loses wins?

For its part, FIFA prefers to limit EA’s exclusivity to the strict framework of football, with a possible goal of identifying new sources of revenue for the rights it will share with other contractors. EA Sports prefers to continue its growth strategy by expanding the ecosystem within FIFA, exploring esports tournaments, or selling NFT. Which happily complements the cash flow generated by the single Ultimate Team mode, which would have generated nearly $1.2 billion in sales just last year, according to analyst Pierce Harding Rolls cited by The New York Times.

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En cas de rupture après plus de vingt-cinq ans de mariage, la FIFA se priverait d’une manne garantie pour le financement de ses propres projets, comme une nouvelle Coupe du monde élargie aux clubs, ou un rendez-vous fixuxé tous les de years. But the counterattack will already begin. To find new sources of income, FIFA officials investigated the possibility of selling licenses for video games and digital products not related to football. At risk of hurting the exclusivity to which EA Sports dedicates a large portion of its budget – a brand that has nonetheless benefited greatly from the exposure of the American giant since 1993.

The decision is expected to be confirmed by the end of the year, but EA critics have already opened several exit doors. The trademark registration of EA Sports FC, which is registered with the European Union and the British authorities, is one of them.

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