CARY – Epic Games’ globally popular Fortnite online battle royale game is stepping up its profile in professional sports, announcing Monday a deal with the National Football League.

Fresh from raising $1.25 billion from investors, Epic is turning its sights to demand from players for NFL gear.

Starting Friday, Fortnite players can begin putting together NFL “outfits” to customize their characters. And after putting together a complete league-themed collection players can create and customize up to eight outfits representing their favorite NFL teams, Epic and the NFL said.

Both male and female figures can be customized,

Numbers run 1 to 99.

A wide variety of professional athletes, from the NBA to Major League Baseball, are well-known Fortnite players.

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“We see the popularity of Fortnite every day at the NFL as many of our players are passionate about this game,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer at the NFL, in a statement. “This partnership represents a great opportunity for millions of NFL fans who are Fortnite players to express their fandom inside the game while at the same time exposing our brand to countless others.”

Fortnite has more than 100 million players and revenues from sales such tools and accessories as the NFL theme items have turned Epic into a company worth $8 billion, according to Bloomberg news.

“We have so many football fans at Epic and we know a lot of the game’s fans share that same enthusiasm,” said Mark Rein, co-founder of Epic Games. “Allowing our players to represent their favorite teams in the game was too cool of an opportunity for us to pass up, and we couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!”

This is the first time Epic has “partnered on special outfits inside Fortnite, enabling players to blend their passions for games and sports,” the company says.

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