(WFI) US video gaming giant EA Sports has become the English Premier League’s first official sports technology partner.

Under the deal, EA Sports branding will be featured on all broadcasts of Barclays Premier League matches on Sky, ESPN and all other overseas broadcasts – linked with live match statistics that are shown on screen.

The gaming company plans to work with broadcasters on developments to match day broadcast analysis and increased fan interaction. It will also sponsor the Premier League’s player performance index.

Richard Masters, the Premier League’s director of sales and marketing, said the new partnership would allow the EPL to connect with football fans in new and inventive ways.

“Fans have a thirst for statistics and information and that is something that the Premier League, working with EA Sports, will provide to a level not seen before in professional football,” he said.

The Premier League said EA Sports would explore new ideas to leverage actual match and performance data “to deliver improved interactive football experiences that match the complexity, finesse and excitement of a real world football match”.

The Premier League player performance index will expand to include new performance data to account for time and distance measurements. This will allow for detailed statistics such as the speed at which a shot is hit, the force of a ball as a keeper makes a key save, the height of a jump, the speed at which a penalty is struck and more.

This technology will be introduced at all Premier League club stadia this season.

EA Sports will publish its Team of the Week on www.premierleague.com and will use the statistics from the index to improve the authenticity of its football video game franchises.

“Partnering with the Premier League further establishes EA Sports and its FIFA franchise as the ultimate, authentic football gaming experience,” said Matt Bilbey, the company’s vice president of football.

The company’s FIFA 11 video game will be available this autumn.

Carling partners with Scottish FA
The Scottish FA has announced a four-year sponsorship deal with Carling worth an estimated $3 million.

Carling, the UK’s best selling lager brand, becomes the official beer of the Scotland national team and the Scottish Cup, and also the beer of choice at the country’s national stadium, Hampden Park.

George Peat, Scottish FA president said: “This is an original and exciting deal and the Scottish FA is delighted to be in partnership with Carling, which has been major supporters of Scottish football – and football throughout the UK – for a number of years.

“We are confident that the wide range of sponsorship opportunities made possible by this deal will enable the Scottish FA to engage with fans across the full spectrum of our responsibilities, with the national team and the Scottish Cup and also with our many events at the national stadium.”

The announcement follows Carling’s recent seven-year sponsorship deal with Celtic and Rangers worth about $31 million.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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