SEC not licensing trademarks for EA Sports' next college football game
EA Sports suffered another blow today as the Southeastern Conference announced it will not longer license its trademarks in future college football games.
"Each school makes its own individual decision regarding whether or not to license their trademarks for use in the EA Sports game(s)," the SEC said in a statement. "The Southeastern Conference has chosen not to do so moving forward.
"Neither the SEC, its member universities, nor the NCAA have ever licensed the right to use the name or likeness of any student to EA Sports."
The SEC's announcement comes a month after the NCAA confirmed it, too, would not be entering a new contract for the license of its name and logo in the EA Sports football game. The NCAA's decision was a move believed to be directly tied to pressure brought on by litigation in class-action lawsuit filed by former college athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Electronic Arts alleging the gaming giant’s games used their likenesses without permission.
Despite the NCAA's decision, EA Sports vowed it would continue making college football games since school trademarks are handled by the Collegiate Licensing Company. EA reportedly signed a three-year, non-exclusive deal with the CLC in July, but technically each individual institution and conference controls the rights to license its trademarks.
Obviously this is a tremendous hurdle for EA Sports to overcome. It doesn't mean we won't get a college football game next year, but one without the SEC, home of some of the most popular college football teams including last year's National Champion Alabama, will certainly be lacking. Can you imagine a college football game without the likes of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, and Tennessee? And to think, those are just a few of the SEC teams.
We've reached out to EA Sports for comment and will update accordingly, but in the meantime sound off in the comments below. Would you play a college football game without the SEC?