FaZe Launches Virtual Restaurant, Gen.G Creates New Women Inclusivity Content Series, and More!
EWD: News for Week of 7/25/22-7/31/22
Topics: Partnerships, Burberry, Nike, FaZe, NFL, Loaded, Hyperice
Gen.G x Burberry
Burberry and Gen.G announce the launch of a four-part educational content series to champion women and the importance of inclusivity within gaming as part of Gen.G's "NetWORK: Inspire" program. According to the press release, this partnership marks Burberry's first in the world of esports and builds on both entities, "commitment to helping underrepresented communities gain valuable skills and insights that will empower them to go beyond."
Hosted by entrepreneur and content creator, Emily Ghoul, the series features women in gaming, content creators and influencers from across the industry, alongside members of the Burberry team. Each episode features an open discussion about the common challenges facing women within gaming. This includes, but is not limited to women representation in leadership positions, stereotyping, and a toxic online environment.
The 4-part series aims to reframe the 'play to win' narrative of esports into one that is actively promoting inclusion and change within the gaming space. The 1st episode has already been released, check it out HERE. The corresponding episodes will release every 2 weeks. Here's a snapshot of each episode:
Episode 1 – My Platform is My Power – featuring Gen.G influencer and variety streamer, Krysta "Krystalogy" Eason, Founder of @Enlightgg, Eunice Chen, and Burberry's Vice President of Brand Protection, Melissa Roth Mendez, this episode unpacks the idea that platforms have unmatched power in creating real change for the future and discusses the women that are already driving this change.
Episode 2 – The I in Imagination – featuring Gen. G and Logitech content creator, Jessica Kim, singer and Twitch streamer, Stephanie Poetri, and Burberry Senior CAD Manager, Lucy Goodyear, this episode will explore how we can use our creativity as a force for good, to inspire women online and to encourage self- expression.
Episode 3 – Voices and Choices for Change – featuring Netflix TV personality and Twitch streamer, Jacki Jing, YouTuber and esports commentator, Evan "Raynday" Raynr, and voice actor, gaming creator and former KPop singer, Shannon Williams, this episode turns up the volume on the importance of championing women within all spaces and discusses how they use their voice to inspire advocacy as well as the role men can play in allyship.
Episode 4 – Supercharging Self-Care – featuring Gen.G content creator, Gloria "Ploo" Shin, Founder and President of Latinx in Gaming, Cristina Amaya, and Burberry Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Geoffrey Williams, the final episode will focus on the importance of self-care, mental health and how to evade the pitfall of burnout.
Burberry will also be donating to the Gen.G Foundation Scholarship which aims to develop talented young gamers with the potential to lead the industry's next generation, whilst promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion.
Gina Chung Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Gen.G commented on the collaboration:
It's an honour to collaborate with an iconic brand like Burberry on NetWORK: Inspire. They share Gen.G's vision of celebrating and empowering underrepresented voices in the gaming space and beyond. We envision a community of creatives that is inclusive and diverse; we hope this content series inspires fans in gaming, fashion, and music alike.
For anyone immersed in the gaming space, whether it be a spectator or gamer, PLEASE watch the 1st episode. We need more content like this that gives women a platform to speak up about these issues, uplift other women, and to drive change moving forward. As the press release noted, almost half of all gamers are women yet they are treated as a minority and wrongfully vulnerable group.
Burberry is one of the most well-known fashion brands in the world and joins other competitors in gaming with the likes of Gucci, who partnered with FACEIT and 100 Thieves, and Louis Vuitton, who collaborated with Riot Games.
Guild Esports x Hyperice
Guild Esports has added to its sponsorship portfolio in back-to-back weeks with the addition of performance wellness company Hyperice. Specifically, Hyperice becomes the official wellness technology partner of Guild Esports in a 1-year deal. Hyperice will provide its recovery and wellness technology for the organization’s players and athletes as well.
As part of the deal, Hyperice gain exclusive naming rights to Guild’s recovery room situated within its HQ in London. No details have been announced regarding additional activations that'll take place.
Kal Hourd, Chief Executive of Guild Esports, commented on the deal:
Physical wellbeing is a key component of in-game performance in esports, and with this deal, Guild’s roster of athletes will have access to the very best in sports recovery technologies. At the same time, we look forward to helping Hyperice increase its exposure to the huge esports audience worldwide.
This isn't the 1st time Hyperice sponsored with an esports organization, previously partnering with Rogue. The likes of Misfits Gaming Group and NRG have also dived into the health, wellness, and recovery category to assist with player recovery and performance. This is the 7th sponsor signed by Guild and partnered with Coca-Cola last week.
Rocket League x Nike
Psyonix Rocket League teamed up with Nike to promote their new Air Zoom Mercurial soccer cleats in-game. In-game content includes Nike Air Zoom Mercurial decals, wheels, and player banners.
Additionally, they had a Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Invitational that took place on July 22. It was hosted by Rocket League players Musty, Retals, and Roll Dizz, with four teams competing in a single-elimination bracket for the win. Among the 4 teams, Each team was led by a Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Pro, with two content creators filling out the lineup. It was streamed on Musty’s Twitch Channel.
One can purchase the "NIKE AIR ZOOM MERCURIAL BUNDLE" for 1100 credits on the Item shop. It includes:
Nike Air Zoom Mercurial – Pink Decal, Green Decal, Yellow Decal
Nike Air Zoom Mercurial Wheels
Although I wasn't able to tune into the livestream, the VOD on Musty's channel received 38,272 views. For new product launches such as the one Nike promoted in this one, I think it's very smart to collaborate with game publishers. Not only do you have in-game skins with the Nike Swoosh and cleat design, you also have a tournament with a number of big-name creators showcasing the new skins.
However, I'm not sure if there's a significant audience crossover between Rocket League players/fans and those who play Soccer that need some fresh new cleats. Nike may have achieved a good amount of brand awareness, but potentially not a marginally significant increase in direct cleat sales. With that being said, if Nike got a cut of the MTX sales on the in-game bundle, then I would think its a pretty successful collaboration
ESL x Gravity Media
ESL Gaming, part of ESL Faceit Group (EFG) announced a three-year deal with production company Gravity Media as its exclusive service provider for esports events. Gravity Media will be delivering its production services at Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne in Germany, ESL One Malaysia in Malaysia, the IEM Rio Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship in Brazil, DreamHack Atlanta in the US, and many more.
Tobias Grieser – ESL Gaming’s SVP Production, says this on the partnership:
With their cutting-edge technology and global presence, we can ensure that fans can enjoy our events to the fullest from wherever they are located and that they can do so in the best possible quality.
Ed Tischler – Gravity Media’s Managing Director, EMEA, commented as well:
This project marks another truly global team effort where Gravity Media looks forward to capturing more from the thrilling esports action taking place over the globe. Our teams and offices in America, Australia, Europe, and across the Middle-East are excited to join forces with ESL Gaming to offer our world-leading expertise and support.
FaZe Launches “FaZe Subs” Virtual Restaurant
In partnership with food delivery platform DoorDash, FaZe Clan and Chef Eric Greenspan collaborated to create a full specialty menu featuring original sandwiches with a gamer twist. On July 26th, FaZe Subs was launched exclusively on the DoorDash platform in select cities across 23 states in the US (with expansion later this year). Per press release, Virtual Dining Concepts has been commissioned with helping to bring the FaZe Clan and Chef Eric Greenspan designed menu to life.
Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) is the industry leader in the virtual restaurant space credited with creating brands in partnership with major influencers/celebrities like MrBeast and Mariah Carey. VDC, with case study examples such as MrBeast Burger and FaZe Subs, reach unique audiences that can plug into your restaurant and provide additional sales. This has become known as the 'ghost kitchen' concept: in exchange for a cut of sales revenue, the brand supplies the name, logo, menu, recipes and publicity images to any restaurant owner with the space and staff to make such recipes.
Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe Clan, said this on the new vertical business opportunity:
FaZe Subs marks our first foray into a virtual food brand. This ghost kitchen venture is an example of leveraging the FaZe platform into new revenue streams. As a pioneering brand born on the internet, FaZe is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the creator economy’s evolution beyond traditional ad-based revenue to more scalable product-based revenue.
Take a look at the menu below:
Newzoo released their insights report with an updated breakdown of market trends that are shaping the gaming industry. Based on what's provided in the free version of this report here's the main takeaways, trends, and graphs that caught my attention:
Globally, the number of players will grow from 2.9 billion in 2020 to 3.5 billion by 2025, a five-year CAGR of +4.2%. The past two years (2020 and 2021) saw not only record-level engagement and spending but also brought many new and lapsed players back to the pastime.
In 2022, the global games market will generate $196.8 billion, up slightly year on year by +2.1%. The primary driver of this growth across the world is mobile, which will generate revenues of $103.5 billion this year (53% of the market), representing growth of +5.1%. PC accounts for 21% of the market and will grow +1.6% year on year to $40.4 billion. Meanwhile, console will decline by -2.2% year on year to $52.9 billion—or 27% of the global market.
North America’s games market will grow just +0.5% year on year to $51.3 billion in 2022, while Europe’s will decline marginally (-0.03%) to $34.1 billion. Strong mobile growth and, to a lesser extent, modest PC growth in these regions are the only factors offsetting a steep overall decline. Regions populated with mobile-first growth markets will see solid growth this year, with the Middle East and Africa growing +10.8% to $7.1 billion and Latin America growing +6.9% to $8.7 billion in 2022.
Forecasts show that the games market will continue to grow in the following years, reaching $225.7 billion in 2025, a +4.7% CAGR between 2020 and 2025. This signals our belief that the games market will continue growing healthily in a post-pandemic world, albeit at a slower pace than during the pandemic.
Key Global Trends:
Gaming the Ecosystem: Ecosystems Are Overlapping and Expanding Thanks to Live Services and Subscriptions
Mobile Privacy: The Sunsetting of Real-Time User Tracking Marks the Dawn of a Privacy-First Mobile Economy
In-Game Advertising in AAA Console and PC Games Is Emerging as a New Revenue Stream
User-Generated Content Inside Games and Out: A Strategy for Boosting User Engagement, Retention, and Content
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Are Becoming a Bigger Part of Gaming, but There’s More to Be Done
Globalization in the Games Market Has Continued With a New Trajectory
FaZe Clan and NFL Collaborate on '1ON1' Series
FaZe Clan's Donald "Deestroying" De La Haye will take his '1ON1' series to cities across the country during the NFL preseason. Each competition is free and open to the public for fans and all eligible athletes who wish to compete. According to the FaZe press release, Each '1ON1' series features episodes made up of talented wide receivers and defensive backs going head-to-head in multi-stage competitions.
The first episode will kick off with the Miami Dolphins at The Baptist Health Training Complex on Friday, August 5th, followed by the Detroit Lions @ Ford Field on Saturday, August 6th.
FaZe Clan and the activations created in tandem with the NFL this year are a part of the League's ongoing strategy in connecting with its youngest fans. For context, Deestroying's previous work with the NFL, a '1ON1' in Las Vegas during NFL Draft Weekend, was one the most successful 1ON1 events to date, with the video bringing in over 5M views. Eddie Capobianco, VP of Culture Marketing at the NFL, spoke further about collaborating with Deestroying and FaZe:
Deestroying is so credible to the game of football and sits perfectly at the intersection of UGC content creation and the game. Our continued collaboration with Deestroying and FaZe Clan drives genuine connection particularly with our younger fans across diverse communities including Latinos, all while giving emerging athletes the opportunity to compete, have fun and most importantly, bond around the sport we all love in an exciting way.
I've spoken at length's about how great FaZe does in connecting with its Gen Z audience, and the NFL collaboration is everything the NFL needs and wants as it continues to grow going forward.
Looking at partnerships in sports and entertainment, a lot of times we ask ourselves why did they go in this direction or what's the value for each respective party. Looking at this specific partnership and all the activations that's taken place since 2019 from afar, I have none of those questions.
Loaded Launches Open World Studios and Open World Solutions
Talent management and marketing firm Loaded announced the launch of a consulting business and a production wing. The new division of Loaded is called Open World, a creative advisory and studio at the intersection of gaming, youth culture and marketing through influence. According to Loaded, these new divisions are designed to "help you create relatable and aspirational content that feels genuine and welcome to Gen Z audiences." For context, this announcement comes after a $20 million dollar investment Series A Funding round for the agency.
Specifically, one of the two divisions is known as Open World Solutions, a consultancy that will build off of Loaded’s previous work for brands that are looking to gain a better understanding and presence of the gaming industry. The other division known as Open World Studios will develop “culturally-relevant content for the next generation,” according to the release. The programs executed by Loaded’s in-house studio will appear across digital, social, traditional, and Web3 platforms.
Paul Conroy will be the overall head of Open World. The division’s consulting wing will be led by VP of Strategic Partnerships Nadia Tseng, a former CAA agent who has helped brands like Gillette, Beats By Dre, and Patron establish themselves in the gaming space. The studio side of Open World will be helmed by Cesar Martinez, who will be President of Studios at Loaded after previously working at Latin American media companies Remezcla and Mitu. Jeremy Azevedo, formerly of 100 Thieves and Machinima, will lead content development and production for Open World Studios.
This is a fantastic way for Loaded to allocate some of its new capital and bring in new business opportunities going forward. There still appears to be a lack of understanding and authenticity amongst some traditional brand marketers who are trying to get their feet wet in gaming and esports. This will certainly at the very least garner more connections with brands who have that lack of understanding.