Konami has announced an exclusivity deal with Italian giants Napoli for their Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) game series.
The deal begins in the 2021/22 season, with complete exclusivity from the 2022/23 season onwards. This long-term agreement means that no other brand will have the rights to include Napoli on their games.
Napoli follow in the footsteps of fellow Italian heavyweights Juventus, who left the FIFA game series in 2019 to join the Konami brand. Italian sides AS Roma and SS Lazio have also signed deals in recent months.
Having lost the rights to European club competitions the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup, Konami will hope this move helps entice gamers back to their brand.
PES largely lives in the shadow of the FIFA game series, which has sold over 300 million copies compared to around 110 million by PES.
As part of the deal, Napoli – Italy’s fifth most valuable club – will rename their training centre the SSC Napoli Konami Training Centre from 1 July 2021. The centre will include a gaming centre for players and guests.
Commenting on the deal on the company’s website, Naoki Morita, President at Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. said: “With this close partnership between our two companies, we will further establish eFootball PES as the definitive video game series for Italian football.
“Showing strong belief in our long-term plan, we are humbled that Napoli chose to sign this exclusive agreement with Konami.”
Officials at Napoli echoed similar sentiments, with Serena Salvione, Chief International Development Officer at Napoli saying: “We are delighted to launch this exclusive partnership with an innovative, international brand such as Konami to create content and unique experiences for Napoli fans.
“Konami has further tied its name to the Napoli brand by acquiring the naming rights to the training ground.
“This partnership is the latest step in the wider drive towards internationalisation of the Napoli brand that the club has been working on in recent years.”
Words by Thomas Fox
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