In one of the first pieces of concrete news around PES 2022 - it has been announced that Italian giants Napoli have joined the franchise as a partner - a deal that will become exclusive from the 2022/23 season.
Napoli PES Trailer
Signed, sealed, deliver
The official press release from Konami reads:
The “Official Football Videogame Partnership” will commence with the start of the 2021/22 football season, providing numerous marketing rights. However, from the 2022/23 football season, the eFootball PES series will be the only real-time football simulation game to include an authentic, fully licensed recreation of Napoli.
What's more, Konami will also become the "Official Training Center Partner" for Napoli, with the training facility becoming the "SSC Napoli Konami Training Center" from 1 July 2021 - featuring a brand new gaming area for players and guests.
Naoki Morita, President at Konami said: “With this close partnership between our two companies, we will further establish eFootball PES as the definitive video game series for Italian football."
Serena Salvione, Chief International Development Officer at SSC Napoli said: "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.”
The story so far
The Gli Azzurri become the third Serie A club to sign an exclusive agreement with Konami, following Juventus and AS Roma in the last two years.
Konami also has an agreement with the Italian Football Federation and another Italian club in Lazio, showing the PES brand is making great strides in the region despite losing the licences of AC Milan and Inter Milan last year.
Don't expect this to be the last licence announcement ahead of PES 2022.
It was rumoured Napoli would be joining the franchise, and we still expect another Italian club to join the fray.
Atalanta has made great strides in recent years, and are on course to qualify for the Champions League for the third straight year, but there are other big clubs in Italy that could pen a deal with PES like Fiorentina, Udinese and Torino.