Manchester United FC have inked a three-year global deal with EA Sports which will see the entertainment company become the club’s official video games partner.
The announcement comes just a day after EA Sports strengthened its ties with the Premier League via a new contract that will see it gain greater access through a ‘lead partner’ status.
The central focus of the Manchester United relationship will be digital, with the deal giving fans access to Manchester United content through the latest iteration of the firm's flagship game, Fifa 17.
This will kick off with the release of yet-to-be-seen in-game imagery distributed across the team’s social media channels.
Manchester United will also take centre stage in EA Games promotion of its Fifa 17 The Journey – which is a narrative-driven mode available only on the latest generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles where players live out the Premier League story through Alex Hunter, a young apprentice who gets his shot at the big time.
Tapping into the eSports trend, EA Sports will enlist some of the Red Devils to compete in a one-off Fifa tournament with gaming pods set up in Old Trafford, as well as the Manchester side’s Aon training complex. Fans will also be granted special access to interactive experiences and social campaigns through the collaboration.
“We are very excited to be joining Manchester United as a global partner,” asserted EA Sports vice-president of marketing Jamie McKinlay. “It’s a great opportunity for us to create even more authentic experiences for our players and bring fans of one of the most storied clubs in the world closer to the team and its star-studded line-up.”
Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold said that by bringing EA Sports on board meant fans could look forward to “great content and concepts over the coming seasons.”
“This announcement will no doubt excite many of our younger fans, and indeed some of our players, who will have grown up with the franchise and other EA Sports phenomena,” he added.