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Sunday, June 16, 2024

EA Sports Strikes Licensing Deal For College Football Players

  • All FBS college football players can opt-in to be featured in the video game, expected to launch in 2024.
  • Players will be paid through EA’s deal with group licensing firm OneTeam Partners.
Players can opt-in to be paid to appear in the game.
Credit: Indystar Photojournalist Jenna Watson

All FBS college football players can opt-in to have their NIL represented in the EA Sports College Football video game set to come out in the summer of 2024, courtesy of a new licensing deal between EA Sports and OneTeam Partners. 

Details regarding the structure of payments and how much an athlete will receive for being included in the game are still being finalized. “If it is not possible to identify individual sales, like in the case of video games, then revenue will be divided equally among the athletes included in each licensing program,” OneTeam, a group athlete licensing firm, states on its website.

“We’ve wanted to feature collegiate athletes in a meaningful way from the start of our journey to bring an EA Sports college football experience back to our fans,” EA Sports said in a statement to FOS. “We’re excited to have an agreement in place with OneTeam Partners that will enable us to include the names and likenesses of eligible collegiate football athletes at NCAA Division 1 Football Subdivision schools who opt-in to being featured in EA Sports College Football.”

NCAA Football 14, EA’s last college football game, was released in 2013. The series was discontinued amid lawsuits and national debates over college athletes being compensated for their name, images, and likeness. Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was the last college athlete to appear on the cover of EA’s NCAA Football franchise. 

More than 120 FBS schools have committed to being in EA’s upcoming college football game, including all 10 FBS conferences and the College Football Playoff, according to ESPN. If a player does not opt-in to appear in the game, EA Sports will create a generic avatar and player name to fulfill their place. 

OneTeam was co-founded in 2019 by the NFLPA and MLBPA, and the firm was valued at a reported $1.9 billion last year. OneTeam also has deals to represent players from the NWSLPA, MLSPA, USWNTPA, WNBPA, and the U.S. Rugby PA.

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