Over the last year, the number of participants over the age of six years old in tackle football amounted to approximately 5.22 million. Even more popular than playing football, however, is watching football and even more popular than that, is playing video games. In fact, nearly 70% of all Americans play video games — even on mobile phones. Now, the most popular sporting league in the world is teaming up with the most popular video game in the world.
According to USA Today, the National Football League (NFL) has teamed up with Epic Games to bring football gear to the massively popular online game: Fortnite.
Players will be able to purchase customizable NFL jerseys to use in the game. Uniforms were available for both male and female characters and players can switch jerseys and numbers any time they use the skin, without having to purchase a new uniform pack. Players won’t be able to add names to the back of the jersey, however.
“That is actually very exciting for us, with the avatars being available as females and being able to have females in NFL uniforms for the first time,” said Rachel Hoagland, NFL’s vice president and heading of gaming and eSports.
In addition to adding all 32 NFL team jerseys, players will be able to use football-related harvesting tools, gliders, and emotes. Plus, male and female referee characters are available, as well.
The NFL first teased the partnership back in early November with a tweet that read: “We are gearing up for something big.”
“We have so many football fans at Epic and we know a lot of the game’s fans share that same enthusiasm,” added Mark Rein, co-founder of Epic Games. “Allowing our players to represent their favorite teams in the game was too cool of an opportunity for us to pass up, and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.”
This NFL-Fortnite deal represents the first time Epic Games has teamed up with an outside partner for special in-game purchases and outfits.
“This partnership represents a great opportunity for millions of NFL fans who are Fortnite players to express their fandom inside the game while at the same time exposing our brand to countless others,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer at the NFL.