Over the course of this year, we, along with the EA Sports community, have been following ongoing litigation concerning EA Sports College Football. For those who do not know, the lawsuit primarily involved three core parties: EA Sports, OneTeam, and The Brandr Group, or TBG. TBG filed a lawsuit against EA Sports in the Northern District of California for “tortious interference”, a term used to describe intentionally harming someone’s business or contractual relationship with a third party. The lawsuit put the future of EA Sports College Football launching with player likeness in doubt; however, as of this week, reports indicate the lawsuit has been dropped following a settlement between parties.
Lawsuit Concerning EA Sports College Football Dropped
So What Happened?
According to the Lawsuit and the group’s history, TBG facilitates group licensing opportunities on behalf of the student-athletes as well as represents more than 54 Division I institutions. Athletes have the option to enter into the group licensing deal, according to Brandr. TBG Claims EA Sports circumvented TBG and negotiated a deal for athletes through OneTeam that criminally undercompensates athletes for their inclusion. To put it into numbers, EA Sports elected to commit to a 5 million dollar compensation pool and while that may sound like a hefty price, this is a pool estimated to be about $500 dollars an athlete since revenue will be divided equally among the athletes included in each licensing program. Additionally, the deal does not offer them royalties. The potential $500 payout does not even begin to compare to the $28,000 reportedly given to a player included in the latest Madden NFL.
…and that’s not all
In addition to the lawsuit, TBG also pushed athletes to boycott inclusion by opting out of the deal. TBG felt that by going through its competitor to secure a deal for compensation, one that underpays the athletes, EA Sports caused harm between the parties, resulting in the levying of the lawsuit.
EA Sports College Football forges ahead
Despite the lengthy back and forth, it appears the two sides have come to an agreement and EA Sports College Football come forward with one of if not their biggest obstacles behind them.
NEWS: The BrandR Group and OneTeam Partners have reached a settlement agreement in lawsuit regarding EA Sports.
— Pete Nakos (@PeteNakos_) November 30, 2023
According to the Tweet, OneTeam Partners and The BrandR Group announced an amicable settlement of their past disputes related to college group licensing. This settlement is said to reinforce both companies’ commitment to ensuring the protection and maximization of the NIL value for all collegiate athletes. As per the settlement, both agreed to adopt a model that complements their respective core businesses while separating and operating as completely independent parties. Furthermore, the settlement sees TBG agree to withdraw (without prejudice) its litigation against EA Sports. OneTeam Partners and The BrandR Group will collaborate on future initiatives that benefit athletes and support them throughout their athletic careers. This definitely seems like a major step in the right direction for athletes choosing to be included in the game. Ultimately, it will come down to the numbers.
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