Epic Games and IMG introduce football to the world of Fortnite

Football clubs across the globe have teamed up with Epic Games and IMG to integrate the sport into the popular multiplayer video game Fortnite.

In total, the IMG agency has signed deals with 23 clubs from the A-League, Bundesliga, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, J1 League, La Liga, MLS, Premier League, Primeira Liga, Scottish Premiership and Serie A.

Epic Games will launch its new ‘Kickoff Set’ on 23 January, enabling players to purchase 10 different male and female skins or outfits, and wear iconic kits from clubs around the world. Players will also have access to football emotes, such as Brazil legend Pele’s famous goal celebration, which is up for grabs as a prize from the Pele Cup.

“This is a truly international collaboration, tapping into clubs from almost every continent and offering fans the opportunity to express their passion for the beautiful game and their favourite team through the trailblazing world of Fortnite,” Matthew Primack, Senior Vice-President of Licensing at IMG, explained.

In 2020, the National Football League (NFL) formed a similar partnership with the video game developer, bringing franchise’s uniforms to the game which players could acquire through the in-game shop.

Nate Nanzer, Head of Global Partnerships at Epic Games, added: “Football is consistently one of the top sports that our players tell us they want to see and experience in Fortnite. 

“We’re excited to partner with IMG to bring the sport to Fortnite fans around the world as they face off in competitive tournaments, experience new creative modes of gameplay, and celebrate global football.”

The collaboration will create an ‘immersive football experience’ for supporters of each individual club.

Scottish giants Celtic are one of the clubs that has opted to join the Fortnite revolution, with the assistance of Epic Games and IMG. The title, which was released in 2017, began to take off in the UK in 2018, when Epic Games unveiled a mobile version of the game for iOS users.

“Fortnite is a phenomenally popular game and we know Celtic fans all over the world will be excited to board the Battle Bus and take on their friends in the famous green and white Hoops,” Gordon Kaye, Head of Business Development at Celtic Football Club, said. ”We are delighted to partner with Epic Games to bring a bit of Celtic into the world of Fortnite.”

The full list of clubs includes: AC Milan, AS Roma, Atlanta United, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic, Cerezo Osaka, Esporte Clube Bahia, FC Schalke 04, Inter Milan, Juventus, Los Angeles, Manchester City, Melbourne, Rangers, Santos, Seattle Sounders, Sevilla, Sporting CP, Sydney, West Ham United, VfL Wolfsburg, Western Sydney Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Insider Insight: Capitalising on the growing popularity of Fortnite, football clubs across the globe will dive into the realm of esports, which has become intrinsically linked to football in recent years, with professional players such as Neymar competing in the video game’s tournaments.