NFL, Madden and Twitch; The Model Crossover Relationship
The world’s most powerful sports business league and the most powerful streaming platform in eSports are joining forces to promote the most powerful professional sports game on the planet. The National Football League and Twitch today announced a partnership for a wed series around Electronic Arts pro football monster game, Madden NFL 16.
EA Sports Madden NFL Live will begin today, with new episodes airing weekly on the NFL’s website and on Twitch at noon ET. Replays will air on the NFL Network on Fridays at 4 p.m. ET. NFL Media host Adam Rank and former running back Maurice Jones-Drew will host the series, along with popular Twitch broadcaster and top-ranked Madden player Scott “Coltrane” Cole. Episodes will break down Madden tips, updates to player rankings and the game’s Ultimate Team mode, and Madden-themed recaps of NFL action. The show will also feature special guests including current and former NFL players, and celebrities.
“With the growing appeal of live video game content and our community’s love of the Madden NFL franchise, we wanted to find a fun and creative way to tie everything together with the two most relevant and iconic brands,” John Imah, Twitch’s executive producer for Madden NFL Live told USA Today.
Twitch, which was purchased by Amazon last year for nearly $1 billion, has more than 100 million viewers and 1.5 million broadcasters, and this marriage with the NFL is the first, and maybe the smartest way to marry the growing space of eGaming with a mainstream audience. Conversely the popularity of Madden will drive more interest and awareness of eGaming to a traditional sports audience as well, without having to recreate a platform in the way Turner and IMG/William Morris will attempt to do in 2016. Marrying the marketing power of the NFL with the eSports size of twitch creates a kickoff partnership that may be the best, and potentially the most replicated by other leagues, alliance in this fast-growing world where eSports goes mainstream and traditional sports looks to capitalize.