Vanarama, the sponsor of the Vanarama National League, has launched a campaign looking to get the fifth tier of English football acknowledged in the UK's best-selling video game.
The vehicle leasing company and league sponsor has mocked up a Fifa 20 game box design featuring top non-league players Jamie Collins (Sutton Utd) and Alfie Rutherford (Havant & Waterlooville). It is directing fans to sign a petition to enforce the inclusion of the league in the video game.
Outlining its case, the brand expresses disappointment at the developer's new inclusion of the Chinese Super League in the latest edition as a point of frustration claiming those teams can't "buy the magic of a Tuesday night away in drizzly Dover".
Andy Alderson, chief executive and co-founder at Vanarama said: “We love being involved in non-league football. It is proper football, with proper fans. The Vanarama National League is growing year on year and deserves to be recognised in Fifa 20. EA Sports needs to stand up and take note and give the best fans in world football what they want. If it’s in the game, it’s in the game – come on EA live by your mantra.”
David Bernstein, former FA chairman, added: “This campaign when successful will make a real commercial difference to the financial challenges facing non-league football – in addition to putting a smile on the faces of some of the most devoted fans in the world.
"A number of clubs" have also supported the drive from Alpaca Comms and the van leasing brand.
Last year, the sponsor enacted the first ever midseason rebrand of an English national league – but this wasn't a typical sponsorship play. The Vanarama National League was renamed as the MANarama National League in a charity partnership with Prostate Cancer UK.
It has now reverted back to its original title but showed how closely the league is willing to accommodate a social good push from its partners.