One of the biggest names in e-sports is teaming up with one of the best soccer teams in the world. Today, Manchester City announced a new collaborative partnership with Faze Clan, which the club says will “bring the two audiences together in exciting new ways.”
The details are a bit vague, but it sounds like the two sides will collaborate on what Faze does best: creating really popular content and limited edition merchandise. City says that the two will “create engaging content with talent and players, as well has hosting exclusive fans events in the US and around the world” and launch “limited edition, co-branded retail products.” On the e-sports side, City and Faze will be bringing their existing FIFA players together in a shared training facility.
“We recognize that fans want to celebrate their love for football across many aspects of their lives,” Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer at City, said in a statement, “including fashion, music, and gaming, to create a culture that goes beyond what happens on the pitch.”
It’s a merger of two big names and also something that’s becoming a trend among large-scale soccer clubs. European e-sports giant Fnatic partnered with Italian club AS Roma in 2017, while Paris Saint-Germain teamed up with Chinese team LGD for a co-branded Dota 2 squad. Other clubs have entered into e-sports on their own: German team Schalke 04 has a successful League of Legends squad, for instance, and Barcelona operates its own Rocket League team.
For Faze Clan, meanwhile, the new deal is the latest in a growing list of high-profile partnerships. That includes apparel deals with Champion and New Era and collaborations with rappers Lil Yachty and new investor Offset. “The actual players, they’re like rock stars,” Offset told The Verge of his decision to work with Faze. “They’ve got great followings, they influence kids, and that’s what I do. It was just organic. These guys are cool.”