By Allison Watkinson
Electronic Arts has announced a football investment plan called EA SPORTS FC FUTURES, promoting its football gaming franchise.
The three-year plan includes a $10 million investment in community-level football initiatives on a global scale. This news follows the release of the new EA SPORTS FC brand identity and logo for the company’s football franchise (formally known as EA SPORTS FIFA).
“EA SPORTS FC is a symbol for a positive future of football, and that future will be built on providing young people with the access and tools necessary to follow their dreams,” said EA SPORTS VP, David Jackson. “We are looking forward to partnering with football organizations and icons across the globe to inspire the next generation of young football fans and grow their love of the game.”
The new EA SPORTS initiative will see investments across multiple grassroots football projects. The first major FC FUTURES activation is the opening of the Rocky and Wrighty Arena at Turnham Academy in South London (pictured at top). The launch of the Rocky and Wrighty Arena was made possible through a partnership between EA SPORTS, The Premier League’s Football Foundation, the UK government, and The Football Association of England.
The new football pitch was opened by England-based professional football player, Ian Wright and team manager, Emma Hayes to provide easier access to the sport for youth in the area. Wright and Hayes are the first official ambassadors for the EA SPORTS FC FUTURES project.
“I’m delighted to be an ambassador for EA SPORTS FC FUTURES,” said Wright. “This is where football starts, right here in our communities and investing in the game is a crucial step toward advancing global football.
“That starts with providing kids access to much-needed facilities in order for them to be able to play as much as possible in safe, local spaces,” added Wright. “I’m grateful my old school can play a part in the future of football, and it’s an honor to be involved.”
The FC FUTURES initiative plans to provide support for the creation and refurbishment of additional community football pitches with aid from both local and international sports foundations, federations and leagues. EA SPORTS FC FUTURES will also invest in grassroots training accessories to help deliver football equipment such as balls, bibs, cones, and other essentials for the sport.
“Growing up in London, I was always looking for a way to get onto the pitch,” said Hayes. “I’m ecstatic that women and underrepresented talent are getting the resources many of us didn’t. FC FUTURES is a fantastic way to provide opportunities for the next generation of fans to explore and further their passion for football, and it makes me proud to be an FC FUTURES ambassador. I believe that investments like this have the power to change lives.”
FC FUTURES is also planning to release a multi-lingual digital public library of football training practices later this year. The digital content library will allow players and coaches to study and use the information to develop effective football training plans.
EA SPORTS recently signed a multi-year partnership with the UEFA to further support community-level football through consultancy from UEFA Grassroots Football Coaches and investment in UEFA Grassroots football initiatives.
The Union of European Football Associations is an umbrella organization that encompasses 55 national football associations across Europe. The UEFA supports European football through its efforts to reduce discrimination, enforce ethical standards, maintain stakeholder relations, and promote fair governance policies.
“We are excited to partner with EA SPORTS and their EA SPORTS FC FUTURES program,” said UEFA’s Frank K. Ludolph. “Through our team of UEFA technical education experts, we will work hand-in-hand with our long-term partner, EA SPORTS, to enhance our support for the grassroots game. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for UEFA’s Grassroots Program to provide an innovative access to modern and customized training materials for the benefit of the next generation of grassroots players and fans.”
The rebranding of the EA SPORTS football video game franchise is largely due to the upcoming dissolution of the thirty-year licensing partnership between EA SPORTS and FIFA, which is also known as the International Association Football Federation. The long-standing partnership between the two organizations will officially end on July 12, 2023.
EA is a digital interactive entertainment company that develops and delivers multi-platform games, content and online services.