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Uefa invites video game and esports rights bids for club competitions

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Uefa is inviting proposals for several categories in its video game rights sector for the 2021-24 club competition cycle, including the rights for the official simulation game and esports event.

EA Sports currently holds the rights to Uefa’s three video games categories, from 2018-19 to 2020-21, allowing it to use iconography and presentation elements from the Uefa Champions League, Europa League, and Uefa Super Cup in its titles, including its most popular FIFA 19 game.

Under the deal, the video game publisher also launched the eChampions league global esports tournament in March this year, the final of which took place the day before the Champions League final in Madrid.

Prior to this, Konami held Uefa’s video game rights for a decade – between 2008-09 and 2017-18 – using Uefa club competition marks in its Pro Evolution Soccer game. The company also organised an earlier iteration of the Uefa esports event: the PES Virtual Uefa Champions League. The publisher continues to hold the video game rights to the Uefa European Championships national team competition, including next year’s Euro 2020 finals.

The latest set of rights will include Uefa’s new third-tier 32-team competition, the Uefa Europa Conference League, which launches in 2021 and will sit below the Champions League and Europa League, although the winning developer will decide to what extent it includes the new competition in its titles.

Team Marketing’s head of licensing, Daniel Hammond will oversee the bid process, with suppliers requested to register their interest no later than January 13, 2020.

The rights on offer also include official football management games and football-related casual games and hyper-casual games with associated esports rights for Uefa club competitions.

Casual games are defined as video games that appeal to a wider mass-market audience. They could include accessible ‘pick-up-and play’ games for mobile phones, tablets or games consoles. Uefa does not have a casual game partner currently, but is soon to launch a branded quiz game in this category.

The governing body said it would be willing to hear proposals for one or a number of the categories listed.

Uefa has also invited proposals to produce specific licensed merchandise for its club competitions, including: trophy replicas, toys and board games, back to school products and umbrellas. Team Marketing is also handling this sales process.

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