Microsoft has reached a deal to become the official gaming partner of England's national football teams. The multi-year deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, makes Xbox the official partner for England's men's and women's teams, along with the eLions eSports team, and Wembley Stadium itself.
Additionally, Microsoft said in a news release that it is working with The Football Association on a "grassroots gaming campaign" to help create "exciting experiences for football and gaming fans across the nation."
The first stage of Microsoft's partnership with the FA kicks off with a new branded message, "When Everybody Plays, We All Win." Microsoft and the FA said they have a "shared vision of inclusivity in play" in both digital worlds and in real life. This message is especially noteworthy following England's loss in the Euros final when several members of the club received horrific and disturbing messages of hate.
"At Xbox we strive to remove barriers and to empower people to experience the joy of play: millions of people around the world find common ground and connect through playing games, as they do with football," Global Xbox partnerships boss Marcos Waltenberg said. "In The FA we see a tremendous organization which has the same drive and ambition to empower people as we do at Xbox. Through our partnership we aim to bring further value to the England Football Teams and power the dreams of players and fans everywhere."
FA marketing director Kathryn Swarbrick said, "Gaming is loved and embraced by fans across the world, and we see this partnership as an opportunity to take that relationship to the next level for all of those connected with English football. 'When Everyone Plays, We All Win' is a message that rings true of what we strive to achieve at The FA and we hope that our inspirational national teams can bring great value to Xbox."
This is not the first time that Microsoft has sponsored a football/soccer club, as the Xbox company previously had a deal with the Seattle Sounders of the MLS to be it jersey sponsor. However, this deal ended in 2019.
In other Xbox news, the company has urged its fans to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the US and globally. Microsoft is heading into the holiday season with Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite leading the way for its first-party lineup.
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