Ekstraklasa is investing in the strategic development of eSports, and in 2018 wants to enter the market with its domestic league competition. That’s why Ekstraklasa and the giant who specialises in media rights and esports – Lagardère Sports Poland – have signed a letter of intent. Both organisations will partner up to create a business model and the future format of Ekstraklasa in esports.

The first steps of Ekstraklasa in esports were in February of 2017, when together with the creators of the FIFA game franchise – EA Sports – the first EKSTRAKLASA CUP took place. After the huge success of that tournament, the preparations for the next one started, and the highlight of this year will be competing in one of the most popular games in Poland and worldwide – FIFA 18.

– We see a huge potential in esports, that’s why we want to approach this topic professionally, and maximize the promotion of the league through virtual competitions. That’s why we chose to partner with one of the key global players in terms of sports marketing and esports, and one with extensive experience. Together we want to create an attractive product for clubs, fans, but also for sponsors, advertisers, and broadcasters – Chairman of The Board of Ekstraklasa, Marcin Animucki

Lagardère Sports Poland will cooperate with Ekstraklasa in order to organise the upcoming edition of the esports competition, but also in working out a model for how the virtual league could function at a high level, for the next few years. The company – led in Poland by Andrzej Placzyński – will be allowed to hold talks with potential sponsors and partners of this project.

– Ekstraklasa launching its own esports league is an answer to the newest trends in sports marketing, and to the changes in the way people consume media. While working on a final format of the esports Ekstraklasa we have not only analysed similar esports projects already launched in France, Netherlands, and Australia as a benchmark, but we’re also taking into consideration the specification of the local market, and the needs and preferences of all kind of stakeholders of Ekstraklasa. I think it’s safe to say that this project is the missing element of Polish esports – Chairman of the Board of Lagardère Sports Poland, Andrzej Placzyński.

The LOTTO Ekstraklasa competition is currently featured in two of the most popular football games on the market. Your favorite club could be managed on Football Manager, as well as in EA SPORTS FIFA. Since 2013, the only football simulator which holds the license to feature the Polish Ekstraklasa, and its’ clubs, is FIFA. The current contract is valid from 2017/18 till the end of season 2020/21.

About Ekstraklasa:
Ekstraklasa S.A. is a joint-stock company, established on June 14th 2005, thanks to terms agreed upon between PZPN and football clubs who were then part of the 1st league. Shareholders of the company are 16 clubs from the highest football league (each with 5.8% shares) who together hold 92.8% of the stock. 7.2% of the stock is held by PZPN (Polish Football Association.