SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Not Licensing Trademarks to EA Sports
It’s not just the NCAA whose logo won’t appear in this year’s edition of EA’s College Football franchise (formerly known as NCAA Football). The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Big Ten have joined the NCAA in not licensing their name and logos for use in the popular game.
In July, the NCAA announced that NCAA Football 14 would the last EA Sport college football game to feature the NCAA’s trademarks in the game. This was a result of the ongoing lawsuit involving EA, the NCAA and former players over player likenesses being used in the game without being licensed.
Now, the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12, three of college footballs more popular conferences, have withdrawn their names from the game going forward. The SEC released a statement specifically citing ongoing litigation over the use of player likenesses as a reason for their decision.
As with the NCAA’s move to end its licensing agreement with EA, individual schools will still be allowed to make their own licensing agreement with EA through the Collegiate Licensing Company which handles trademark licensing for the majority of NCAA schools. The CLC recently announced that about 150 schools have licensed their trademarks for use in EA Sports’ College Football 2015.
Given that EA Sports quickly found a workaround for not having the NCAA name or logo in the next edition of the game, I doubt they’ll have an issue creating a fictional name for conferences to replace the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12. Perhaps something geographic like the Southern, Mid-West and Pacific Coast conferences.