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Volume 7 No. 149
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EA Sports Shells Out $85M Over Three Years To Become Premier League's Lead Partner

The Premier League and EA Sports on Monday agreed to expand their partnership, with the video game company becoming the league's lead partner in a deal worth more than $28M per year over the next three seasons. The expanded partnership will provide EA Sports with greater access to the EPL and its clubs. The lead-partner status is part of the league's new sponsorship strategy, which saw it move away from a title sponsorship after last season. A source with knowledge of the negotiations told SBD Global that EA Sports will pay an estimated £65M ($85M) for its association with the EPL through the end of the '18-19 campaign. The deal's annual value of around £21.6M ($28.3M) represents a significant drop from Barclays' £40M ($52M)-per-year agreement as the league's title sponsor over the previous three seasons. The EPL's decision to forgo a title sponsorship and go with a "clean" brand follows the lead of major U.S. sports leagues. The upcoming season, which kicks off on Saturday, will be the league's first since its inaugural '92-93 campaign in which it does not have a title sponsor -- Carling ('93-01), Barclaycard ('01-04) and Barclays ('04-16). The EPL is going into the new season with seven official partners after the source said it is very unlikely any further commercial partnerships will be agreed before the start of the season. EA Sports has been a long-time partner of the EPL, holding its exclusive electronic games license since '03. The U.S. company enhanced its relationship with the league and became its official technology partner in '10. The EPL and EA Sports did not respond to requests for comments.

Official EPL Partners From '16-17 To '18-19
Brand
Designation
EA Sports
Lead Partner
Barclays Official Bank
Carling Official Beer
Nike Official Ball
Tag Heuer
Official Timekeeper
Sporting iD
Official Licensee
Topps
Official Licensee