Earlier Thursday, EA Sports’ top executive said the company is reconsidering its naming-rights agreement with FIFA and could rebrand its top-selling soccer series. Two new European trademark applications could indicate a publisher’s intention to use the name.
EA Sports FC is the name filed just last week with the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The brand name is used for computer games software or online entertainment. It is not currently registered by either the United States Patent and Trademark Office. EA’s European paperwork was filed on Oct. 1.
Polygon reached out to EA Sports on Thursday afternoon. A representative of EA Sports declined comment.
EA Sports has used “Football Club” as a trademark before, as the name of an online community for the FIFA series from 2011 to 2020. The soccer game itself has taken the FIFA name since 1993’s FIFA International Soccer for Sega Genesis. It’s the third-longest title partner in the publisher’s history, behind the Madden NFL series (1988) and NHL (1991).
Cam Weber (general manager of EA Sports) said on Thursday that the partnership might be over. “As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games,” Weber said in a statement. “This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”
The licensing fee EA Sports paid FIFA for the use of its name — such terms have never been disclosed — really only got the soccer federation’s name on the box. The agreements that govern the rest of the series — from the dozens of teams to the thousands of athletes and leagues in which they play — are different. The World Cup branding the game now sees every two years for the women’s and men’s tournaments is also separate from the FIFA title agreement.
Named EA Sports FC would not only zero out a largely cosmetic expense, it would return some valuable brand space to a publisher that, officially, puts its name into every game’s title even if, colloquially, the press and public doesn’t follow along. The exception is the EA Sports UFC Series (and its brief-lived predecessor) EA Sports MMA
The return of however will take place next year. EA Sports PGA Tour And perhaps later. EA Sports College Football Addition EA Sports FC This rotation reinforces the notion that EA Sports can be both the title and the game.
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