English soccer champions Manchester City have announced a partnership with the popular esports organisation Faze Clan, further expanding the Premier League outfit’s push into gaming.
Under the terms of the agreement, Faze Clan, which formed ten years ago and includes a blend of professional gamers and influencers on video streaming platforms YouTube and Twitch, will create fan-based social content with the club and host exclusive esports events globally.
The two parties will also collaborate on limited-edition co-branded products and content featuring pro players from both FaZe and Man City.
The announcement formalises a partnership between City and Faze Clan, with the two having previously linked up to create bespoke YouTube content together, including during the club’s tour of the US in 2017. The partnership will commence on October 6th when City take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the Premier League champions wearing a co-branded jacket featuring both parties’ brands on matchday.
Nuria Tarre, chief marketing officer for club owners City Football Group (CFG), said: “Esports is the world’s fastest growing spectator sport and this collaboration with FaZe Clan marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Manchester City’s esports journey.
"We recognise that fans want to celebrate their love for football across many aspects of their lives, including fashion, music and gaming, to create a culture that goes beyond what happens on the pitch."
Lee Trink, Faze Clan’s chief executive officer, added: "We are looking forward to working with FaZe Clan to provide our fans with new and immersive ways to engage with the club. This alliance with Manchester City creates a powerful opportunity to join our collective fan base and cultures on and off the field.
“Faze Clan will continue to push the boundaries of gaming and esports by engaging our fans with experiences that are meaningful, memorable and surprising.”
The collaboration builds on Manchester City’s current esports activity. The club have a dedicated player for the FIFA gaming title who represents the club at tournaments across the world.
Meanwhile, City were also the first Premier League club to launch a FIFA Online team in China, which will soon be joined by gamers from South Korea as the team grows across Asia.
Beyond professional gaming, the club also hosted the Man City Esports Cup last year which saw 10,000 City-supporting amateur gamers globally take part in the tournament.
Last week, CFG also announced an expansion of its gaming partnership with EA Sports, producers of the FIFA title, to include City’s sister clubs in Melbourne and New York, as well as create a monthly esports show to appear on the their in-house CityTV channel.