His free kick had been tailored from the cloth football dreams are made of: Ever-so-gently lobbed with his left foot, sailing past the opponents’ defenders, elegantly curved and aimed at the upper left corner of the goal, James Rodríguez delivered an awesome strike during FC Bayern München’s match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 18 of the current Bundesliga season. Little did he know then that his free kick was going to make history in the DFL’s cooperation with digital games giant EA SPORTS, as Rodríguez’s performance was a key element in the introduction of DFL’s latest innovative social media push to tap into new audiences.
As part of FIFA 18, the newest iteration of the popular game series, EA SPORTS announces a “Team of the Week” (TOTW), compiled of players of all licensed leagues who have impressed with exceptional real-life performances the preceding matchday. Beginning with Week 18, DFL has started to provide a highlight clip of one Bundesliga player that is featured prominently on EA SPORTS’ German and global social media channels associated with FIFA 18 Ultimate Team, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
FIFA 18 Ultimate Team (FUT) is the game’s most popular mode, played by millions of players around the globe. In FUT, the e-game enthusiasts select avatars of real life football players for their individual virtual teams and play one another online. Football stars included in the TOTW selection garner higher ratings for those gamers who picked them for their FUT teams.
Because TOTW selections bring extra value, FUT players are following the weekly announcements across all channels eagerly, and TOTW selections are discussed and reviewed extensively within the FUT community. In its first appearance, the new presentation of exciting Bundesliga content immediately struck a chord: The highlight scene of James Rodríguez’s free kick accumulated more than 6.5 million impressions, 3.5 million video views, and over 120,000 engagements across all social media postings.
Since, the following Bundesliga performers have been included in the FIFA 18 Team of the Week Clips: Leon Bailey (Bayer 04 Leverkusen/week 19), Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg/week 20), Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund/week 21), Andrej Kramarić (TSG Hoffenheim/week 22), Roman Bürki (Borussia Dortmund/week 23), and Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach/week 24), and some of the respective TOTW highlight clips even surpassed Week 18’s initial social media bang. DFL will continue to provide excitement-garnering Bundesliga footage for the remainder of the 2017/2018 season in this cooperation with EA Sports.
EA SPORTS is Bundesliga’s Official Licensee for Interactive Entertainment Products (digital games). The fruitful partnership allows for Bundesliga to reach young demographics and digital natives through focused content all the while extending existing partnerships to a higher level. With e-sports being one of the fastest-growing genres of the global sports market, the partnership with global player EA SPORTS furthers the league’s international reach. FIFA 18 is available for Playstation 4 & 3, PC, XBOX One & 360 and Nintendo Switch.