As of June 30, 2021, the NCAA no longer prohibited collegiate athletes from profiting from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This was good news for EA Sports, a sports video game developer, considering that it announced in February of that year that it planned to bring back its college football game. Prior to this news from the NCAA, EA Sports was planning on moving forward with the game without rosters that contained the names, images, or likenesses of any collegiate players, but remained hopeful that NIL rules would change in the future. Luckily for EA Sports, the NCAA rules did change, allowing EA Sports to engage with licensing brokers in efforts of reaching NIL deals with players and universities for its upcoming game. Despite the positive NIL news, EA Sports is currently facing a lawsuit from a group licensing broker with exclusive or preferred licensing rights with more than fifty schools with football programs. With major programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, and Michigan as Brandr Group clients, EA Sports potentially faces undesirable litigation.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution website on November 30, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Wynne, Nicholas, "The Return of a Beloved Franchise: How Video Game Developers and NIL Licensing Brokers Can Use Mediation to Resolve Their Disputes" (2023). CJCR Blog. 68.