Players waxed on about camping outside stores with family members to secure a copy of EA Sports NCAA Football in the 2010s, and creating versions of themselves in the game. Several still play the last iteration of the game, NCAA Football 14, on the Playstation 3 and XBox 360.

“We would stay up all night playing the game and I did that for years. That’s a part of my childhood, so when the game was discontinued, that hurt, man. I love the game,” LSU linebacker Mike Jones Jr. said.

Unlike the NFL or MLB, college athletics does not have a players association capable of packaging rights for third parties such as video game developers and trading card companies — but that may soon change. Several companies entered the group licensing arena before NIL laws for college athletes were instituted across the country in 2021. In a way, they were preparing for the inevitable return of the popular video game. CLC has built a large database of college and professional athletes on its marketplace platform, Compass.

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The company helps match players with individual and group NIL deals, and also provides NIL education and data. In October 2021, CLC partnered with a company specializing in group licenses to strengthen its position in the NIL market as it aims to become EA Sports’ primary provider of group rights.