Same here, also got Spore through Steam.
Have a functioning EA account and a functioning Spore accout (can log into www.spore.com), however the CD key is not accepted on the website for online access. Therefore inside Spore it keeps saying it cannot connect to servers.
If you have a Spore account, when you log the game simply click LOGIN and put in your Spore/Origin/EA email and password.
If you can log in at www.spore.com and you see Sporepedia, then you have a Spore account. If you don't see the Sporepedia then you need to create your Spore Persona in game like the OP wrote.
For anyone still having trouble: this solution of carcrusher works, there is just one thing you must have in mind. When you register your key on origin, there will be a few options to choose, dont choose -acces to spore.com bla bla bla- it will say the key cannot be redeem there, instead choose -Spore tm blablabla-.
It worked for me on ea site, on account section in redeem code.
Note that you will be able to login when you can login to Sporum, that is a good check if your acc works. As crusher mentioned you have to register your account when you launch game (in field where you have login, password, and ingame name to choose) but after you redeemed keys.
Note to everyone:
We’re running maintenance on Spore from 2:00 p.m. PT on March 17, 2017 until March 19, 2017. The servers will be back online on March 20, 2017.
More information is available in the following article:
It says to go to ea.com, so i do. Then I Go to redeem a code on accounts, but it sends me to another sight witch loops me back to ea.com!
And which website is the other one where you're being referred to?
The easiest thing that I can recommend is to reach out to an EA Advisor to have them redeem the code for you:
March 2017 - last edited March 2017
I managed to resolve my connectivity issue: when trying to redeem the Spore base game, the default English choice is the wrong one. Try the second English option.
I thought I'd add this info, in case someone else still has troubles logging on to the Spore server.