The National Football League (NFL) and game producer Electronic Arts (EA) have announced a significant extension of Madden Esports partnership of their cooperation.
As a result of the partnership, both companies will continue to collaborate on building the Madden NFL Championship Series esports landscape (MCS). With the renewed agreement, EA and the American football league will continue to collaborate on developing content centered around gaming rivals, further integrating MCS with NFL events. This season, the MCS reward has also been raised to $1.7 million (£1.4 million).
The lengthy extension follows a productive MCS season. The 2021 season garnered four times as many views as the previous year, making it the most watched in Madden Esports history, according to EA.
NFL and EA have announced that the Ultimate Madden NFL 23 Bowl, an event held during the week of the Super Bowl LVII, will conclude the esports season in an effort to increase reach and engagement for the league. Additionally, Campbell’s Chunky Soup will continue to support the event as a partner and hold naming rights to the appropriately titled virtual Campbell’s Chunky Stadium.
The Ultimate Kickoff will kick off the season in August, while the Ultimate Thanksgiving event will take place in October and November. The qualifying rounds for the Ultimate Wild Card event will take place in November, December, and January. The grand finals are scheduled for February, and last-chance qualifiers are expected for January.
“Extending our agreement with EA provides another route for the League to increase fandom off the field and enhance the EA SPORTS Madden NFL Championship Series by linking Madden competitive gaming with NFL events,” said Ed Kiang, VP of Video Gaming at the NFL.