Today, we are excited to officially announce a new marketing initiative between the Canadian Football League (CFL), Electronic Arts (EA Sports) and the CFL Players’ Association (CFLPA). Today, you will be able to see the second CFL “Live Event” within the Madden NFL Mobile game. Our first “Live Event” took place on Thanksgiving Monday.
Madden NFL Mobile has been a top performing mobile game in the Sports Category in the App Store and Google Play store since its launch in 2014. It is a game rich in content that lives and breathes, featuring Head to Head multi-player gameplay and continually offering up new challenges for players through topical events. It’s like going to your favourite website (CFL.ca, of course) where you see new content every day. To keep their fans engaged, Madden NFL Mobile is always featuring something new for their users – and now, CFL is going to be a regular part of that programming mix.
During a CFL Live Event Mobile Madden players can participate in various challenges to earn rewards, packs and collectables, including new CFL Player Items. A CFL Player Item will feature some of our most exciting players across the League today in their team uniforms. Once a CFL Item is obtained, gamers will also see what college the CFL player went to and learn notable stats about them. Once a player earns enough CFL Items for a Set, they have the option of trading these in for a CFL Legend that will be added to the gamer’s roster to then use in the game.
This is not “the CFL video game”. What this is is an innovative marketing initiative to get our brand and players in front of the millions of Madden NFL Mobile players around the world. We want to thank the CFLPA and our amazing alumni for partnering with us on this. We are all invested with marketing our League together to make sure we grow and engage new fans with Canadian football – the game and League we all love so much.
We know what you’re thinking… does this mean there’s a CFL video game coming soon? The short answer is yes – we are working actively to launch a number of social mobile CFL-branded games for 2017. Mobile gaming is becoming more and more popular every day. It’s estimated that 30% of video games are played on mobile devices. We agree with you: we need to be in the mobile gaming space and we believe that we can build quality experiences and support and evolve these games in a way that our current fans deserve and prospective fans expect.
As for a console game? The answer to that is more complicated. We 100% want a CFL console game as much as you do. We are fully aware how much you want it and how important a console video game is to get that next generation of fan engaged with our League. But the video gaming industry is a complicated one. We need a strong partner to come to the table to work with us – particularly when it comes to marketing and promoting a console game. It is the only way the economics make sense and the only way you can be truly successful at the level CFL fans deserve, and again, what that future fan expects. At this point, we haven’t yet found a partnership or proposal that we believe can be successful – and we believe strongly that we owe it to our fans as well as our players to get this right.
We are going to get there. We have been able to do a whole bunch of things this year that will grow our League: we’ve launched new mobile-optimized websites, we’ve rebuilt our stats system from scratch, we are making big inroads on fantasy, and we’ve launched a new and dynamic CFL app.
Today’s announcement is an exciting part of that growth strategy, and we’re always working on more.
SVP, Content & Marketing, Canadian Football League