EA Sports is officially being sued by The Brandr Group (TBG) over, “tortious interference” to TBG and the athletes that it represents in developing EA Sports’ new college football video game.
TBG is a brand management, marketing, and licensing agency that allows for the collective use of student-athletes NIL in licensing and marketing programs, co-branded with the institution’s logos and marks. The group represents more than 54 Division I institutions, and with EA Sports’ plan to pay athletes for their use in the upcoming video game release, the group has filed an official lawsuit.
We are just two weeks removed from the College Football Players Association calling for a boycott of the video game, according to On3’s Pete Nakos, and with roadblocks continuing to pop up for the new release, things aren’t looking good for EA Sports.
The cash pool for athletes was originally reported to be roughly $5 million dollars which would pay out $500 per player. TBG responded with a lawsuit claiming that the compensation is “far below market value.”
The official lawsuit states, “Unfortunately, EA Sports is trying to avoid paying collegiate football players a fair price for their participation in the Game, continuing the pre-O’Bannon pattern of large corporations taking advantage of young student-athletes and capitalizing on their NIL.”
The last time EA Sports released a college football video game was after the 2014 season, and since then, with a rapidly changing NIL climate, EA Sports has been unable to release a new game, and with the reported issues above, the company has an uphill climb ahead of them for CFB.