The potential collapse of FIFA and EA Sports reveals a major power shift

Just days after the successful launch of the world’s most popular soccer video game, FIFA 22Manufacturer EA Sports hinted at a big change.

In a blog post, Cam Weber, general manager of EA Sports Group, “is exploring the idea of ​​renaming global EASports for the future. [soccer] game. This means that you are considering a naming rights agreement with FIFA. “

In other words, FIFA branding could break the iconic 30-year partnership.

The pair’s current 10-year contract will expire after the next edition or until the 2022 Qatar World Cup. New agreements may be reached, but with successful negotiations, official statements about alternative solutions are rarely made.

Reportedly, there are several reasons why FIFA and EA Sports are parting.

Initially financial: FIFA says it wants to raise it New York TimesEarns over $ 1 billion in a four-year World Cup cycle, well above the $ 150 million currently paid by EA Sports.

Another obvious obstacle comes from the other side of the negotiation table. Video game makers reportedly want to get more out of FIFA, and real-world game highlights and fan tokens have been identified as areas of expansion.

But the bigger question is, does EA Sports need a contract with the official football governing body?

As Weber pointed out in his statement, before hinting at a potential split with FIFA, the organization is completely lacking in an agreement giving them the right to feature the biggest football players and the most popular clubs. Not at all.

“We are very focused on the collective strength of over 300 individual licensed partners with access to over 17,000 athletes on over 700 teams in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues around the world. GM says. “We continue to invest in the most meaningful partnerships and licenses for our players, so our games are the iconic UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONMEBOL Libertadores, Premier League and Bundesliga. It’s the only place where you can play real in. And Riga Santander. “

The only gold nugget missing from the football intellectual property elite list is, of course, the FIFA World Cup. However, because the competition takes place every four years, EA Sports may be allowed to think that gamers may not switch off because the action of the competition cannot be reproduced point by point up to the trademarked trophy. There is sex.

In the world of EA Sports without FIFA, stars such as Kirian Embape, Neymar and Erling Haaland have the same access in the world’s most popular soccer game club uniforms.

Beyond the importance of dismantling the 30-year-old Superbrand, the reason why the split between FIFA and EA Sport is so important is that it represents the collapse of the traditional power structure.

This indicates that the Governing Body and its flagship event may no longer be the pinnacle of the game.

If it’s changing, there may be more to follow.

FIFA, UEFA, and odd power dynamics

In his book Goal: The ball does not accidentally enterFerran Soriano, Manchester City CEO, points out the extraordinary power dynamics that exist between the governing body of sports and the organizations it regulates.

“National Associations, UEFA, FIFA [soccer] “Industry regulators,” he writes, but they have their own team, the national team, competing in regulated competitions. Therefore, they compete with the club for viewers. TV channels can decide to buy the World Cup or the Champions League. In some cases, the income goes to FIFA, in other cases to UEFA and the club.

“They also compete for sponsors who can choose to support the national team and the Euro Cup instead of sponsoring clubs and the Champions League. They use their power on very favorable terms and calendars, Amend the rules of the game and, in particular, take employees (players) from the club as needed and do so without paying them. “

The “normal situation”, as Soriano suggests, would be that the UEFA and FIFA “regulate and do not compete.”

He then added that while he was CEO of FC Barcelona, ​​he sought to improve the situation by encouraging clubs to participate more in the decision-making process.

The most important effort to achieve this was the failure to form the European Super League in April of this year, when the world’s largest 20 teams left.

The attempt failed, but it showed that the club was willing to test the unique relationship described by Soriano. The market value currently owned by FIFA and UEFA is under threat.

When the club tried to take a break, the Governing Body went up in rank and warned that players in ESL would be banned from international tournaments, but the entire case showed their vulnerabilities.

FIFA and UEFA can only continue the show with the continued cooperation of these teams. In many cases, the brand is as great as the competition they play.

The authority of those organizations has been destroyed in other ways.

At the International Break in September, the excellence of international football was challenged by several Premier League clubs. The team did not want to release players to South American countries as Covid-19 regulations exclude them from future club games.

In this context, I feel that it is inevitable that EA Sports will abandon the FIFA name.

The majority of clubs already deal with companies individually, but what is the use of spending $ 1 billion on regulatory names?

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