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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from PR Newswire
Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

LEARFIELD And Electronic Arts Announce Return Of LevelNext Featuring EA Sports Madden NFL 22

September 28, 2021 GMT
LevelNext is the largest intercollegiate esports league and home to the national college championship for 'Madden'.
LevelNext is the largest intercollegiate esports league and home to the national college championship for 'Madden'.
LevelNext is the largest intercollegiate esports league and home to the national college championship for 'Madden'.

PLANO, Texas and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, LEARFIELD, a leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics, and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment, announced the return of the highly-anticipated collegiate esports league, LevelNext, with competition kicking off first with EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 22. Registration for the 2021 LevelNext Madden National Championship is now open to college students at more than 2,500 schools nationwide.

Kicking off on October 13, college students across the country will go head-to-head in seven weeks of Madden NFL 22 competition comprising a regular season, playoffs, and championship. During the live broadcast finals on November 18, the top collegiate players will be crowned the LevelNext Madden National Champion on behalf of their university. The LevelNext Madden National Championship will feature a cash prize pool of $150,000, $50,000 of which will be awarded directly to 20 campus esports programs through a Twitter competition.

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[Please CLICK HERE to Register]

“EA SPORTS Madden NFL 22 is the perfect vehicle to engage new esports fans as its authenticity through interactive gameplay only enhances and complements traditional football fandom,” said LEARFIELD EVP/Managing Director-Media & Partnerships Group Rick Barakat. “This fall we’ll introduce new tournament concepts to students around the country to win a National Championship as college esports continues to grow in its interest, credibility, and opportunity.”

“The LevelNext Madden National Championship completes an extensive ecosystem of football competitive gaming giving fans the opportunity to connect via NFL, collegiate athletics, or professional esport licensed competition,” said Matt Marcou, Madden NFL Competitive Gaming Commissioner. “Madden NFL continues to stand out as preeminent entertainment with recent esports broadcast viewership skyrocketing. We look forward to growing franchise fandom in key youth demographics in partnership with LEARFIELD through centralized collegiate competition.”

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To further enhance the college esports experience, the LevelNext Madden National Championship will feature shoutcasters, celebrity guests, and institutional radio play-by-play announcers. The LevelNext social channels across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok will also add interactive broadcast elements to enhance the viewer experience via competitive updates, highlights, and player exchanges.

College esports remains a unique avenue for Unilever, a new partner for the LevelNext Madden National Championship, which will leverage its United for America program and help create awareness for the pervasive issue of food insecurity on U.S. college campuses. Unilever, through this LevelNext Madden National Championship connection, will donate one million meals to Feeding America in support.

Free to enter and available to all students currently attending a four-year accredited university, LevelNext is the largest intercollegiate esports league and home to the national college championship for Madden. Launched in October 2020, LevelNext combines official athletic marks and promotion, sports broadcast production and content value, cash prizes to players and esports clubs, and engaging competition to deliver excitement to millions of college esports fans. This easy-to-follow, centralized structure is primed to accelerate collegiate esports growth by unifying competitive play for all college students and enabling them to officially represent their schools on the road to a national championship. Each year, LevelNext features at least one of EA’s competitive gaming franchises.

All national and weekly programming for the LevelNext Madden Championship will be broadcast on LevelNext’s official Twitch channel and website, with additional outlets and locations to be later announced. For more information on the official rules and to register for the LevelNext Madden Championship, please visit rallycry.gg/levelnext/competition/144. Registration closes on October 10.

About LEARFIELD
LEARFIELD is a leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions. LEARFIELD services include licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, ticket sales, and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content, and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices, and personal computers.

In fiscal year 2021, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $5.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™, and F1™. More information about EA is available at www.ea.com/news.

EA SPORTS, Battlefield, Need for Speed, Apex Legends, The Sims, and Titanfall are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. John Madden, NFL, FIFA, and F1 are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.

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SOURCE LEARFIELD