NEW YORK – The United Soccer League (USL) has partnered with leading fan engagement company Rival to launch its gaming community, debuting with a tournament using eFootball™, developed by KONAMI DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT Inc. (KONAMI), on Tuesday, August 22.
The first and only soccer organization in the United States to build a complete youth-to-pro pathway for men and women, the USL includes more than 200 clubs competing in seven different leagues. Leveraging Rival’s white-label enterprise platform solution to build community off the pitch, the USL will debut its esports programming with KONAMI, the Official Video Game Partner for USL Championship and League One, and its eFootball™ game title. The Rival platform will provide the USL with the ability to host tournaments, provide unique experiences, and strengthen engagement with its followers and fans.
“We are thrilled to enter the next phase of our gaming strategy by partnering with Rival to host our first KONAMI eFootball tournament,” said USL Chief Commercial Officer Court Jeske. “Next week’s competition brings players a new level of excitement and opportunity to measure their skills while fostering new connections to our clubs and players.”
“We're excited about the USL's innovating approach to connecting fans with their favorite clubs,” said Yuta Kose, President, KONAMI Digital Entertainment, Inc. "We have a shared value when it comes to connecting soccer and community to generate a fandom uniquely made from the virtual pitch. The eFootball video game franchise has a legacy reaching more than 25 years and through these types of engagements will help extend it to many more."
Next week’s inaugural tournament starts on Tuesday, Aug. 22 on Xbox ONE and Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 4 and PS5. Fans can register at www.rivalgames.com/play/usl starting today through the start of the tournament.
“This partnership with the USL represents Rival’s first with a professional sports league, and we’re thrilled to expand our footprint in soccer,” said Rival CEO Matt Virtue. “Our platform is a dynamic and natural extension for leagues and clubs to offer differentiated and deeper levels of engagement beyond the field of play. We look forward to collaborating with the USL to offer innovative programming and unique experiences as it launches its gaming community.”
Rival powers the gaming communities of more than 45 partners worldwide, across sports properties, media, tech, and brands, including organizations across NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and the English Premier League. Outside of Rival’s collaboration with the NBA2K League, USL is Rival’s first league partnership.
To join the USL gaming community, visit www.rivalgames.com/play/usl.