Philadelphia Eagles Are First NFL Team to Ink Esports Deal

  • The NFL franchise signed a multiyear partnership with the Esports Entertainment Group
  • The Eagles will become shareholders of EEG as part of the newly announced deal
  • The company will run biannual Madden NFL esports tournaments for the team
  • EEG also operates online esports betting platform VIE.gg, which is not yet live in the US
  • Unibet, DraftKings, and FOX Bet are all official sports betting partners of the Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles helmet and football on green pitch
The Philadelphia Eagles are the first NFL team to sign an esports tournament provider partnership deal. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Landmark multiyear agreement

The Philadelphia Eagles have become the first NFL team with an esports tournament provider partner after signing a multiyear deal with the Esports Entertainment Group (EEG).

twice-a-year Madden NFL esports tournaments on behalf of the Eagles

Through the agreement announced on December 15, the Eagles become shareholders of the esports-focused online gambling company. The deal will also see EEG running twice-a-year Madden NFL esports tournaments on behalf of the Eagles via its Esports Gaming League platform.

EEG will also be able to use Eagles player images plus gain access to team members to produce custom videos promoting EEG tournaments. Finally, the esports tournament provider will feature in the NFL franchise’s advertising across online, mobile, email, and social media channels.

Riding on a wave

Esports has been growing significantly popular in recent years, and many top NFL players now regularly live-stream their playing of various video games. The Eagles franchise is now looking to take advantage of this burgeoning sector.

Philadelphia Eagles senior vice president of revenue and strategy Catherine Carlson said this “innovative partnership” is a great opportunity for the team to expand its reach in the esports sector. She added that the Eagles are excited to launch multiple projects with their new market-leading partner, highlighting the Madden tournament series.

We intend to build on this momentum”

EEG CEO Grant Johnson welcomed the Eagles agreement as the latest of a number of high-profile deals for the company. “We intend to build on this momentum” of tapping into partners’ large fan bases, Johnson added.

Eyes on US esports betting

Betting on esports is becoming more and more common, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic put most traditional sporting activities on hold. Esports events were among the few wagering opportunities still open to bettors.

As well as being a tournament provider, EEG allows users to bet on professional esports events for real money through its VIE.gg platform. While the betting platform is not yet live in any US state, EEG signed a partnership deal with Twin River Worldwide Holdings – now Bally’s Corporation – in August. This will see the VIE.gg mobile betting offering launch in New Jersey, pending relevant regulatory approvals.

EEG has not yet announced a partnership with a local gambling operator in Pennsylvania. However, it has signed deals with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment – the majority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers NBA team – as well as with the Philadelphia Union MLS team.

Other Eagles partnerships

The Philadelphia Eagles have entered a number of interesting partnerships over the past couple of years.

In 2019, the team signed a deal with Kindred Group’s Unibet, making the brand the first official casino sponsor of the franchise. In October 2020, an extension to the partnership arrangement saw Unibet become its official sports betting partner. 

DraftKings is also an official sports betting and daily fantasy sports partner of the Eagles. The operator has exclusive naming rights to the private Field Club lounge at the team’s home stadium, Lincoln Financial Field. 

FOX Bet linked up with the NFL team as an official betting partner, gaining access to a premium lounge at the stadium. The agreement included the launch of a new interactive studio at Lincoln Financial Field, which airs the Eagles Edge program after home games.