Why FaZe Clan is Expanding its Partnership With the NFL

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Gamers holding a trophy, fireworks on each side of the picture.
Courtesy of HLTV

FaZe Clan, the esports team owner and content powerhouse known for its gaming content, is looking to dominate a new arena – football.

The gaming company is taking its popular YouTube series “1ON1” – a show hosted by FaZe clan member Donald De La Haye AKA FaZe Deestroying in which talented running backs and wide receivers go head-to-head (and uh, one-on-one, of course) for a shot at $10,000 – on the road during this year’s NFL preseason.

The competition is open to the general public and anyone can register to take part at an upcoming preseason home game. In a statement released June 28, FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink said the new show is an attempt by the NFL to reach a new, younger audience. “Our partnership with the NFL embodies how FaZe and our talent deliver engaging content with established brands in new ways providing experiences that actually matter to Gen Z,” Trink said.

Each side has an advantage in this deal. FaZe, though it might not be well-known to people above the age of 25 in some areas of the country, has a huge hold on the Gen Z market—but it’s struggling to squeeze money out of a core demographic with limited buying power.

The NFL’s core audience, however, are older and definitely have disposable income. The NFL also knows it's got an age problem: the average viewer is around 50 years old, and as its fan base ages, the league has been trying for years to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd.

Though FaZe Clan recently went public, it still isn’t profitable. Brand exposure and likely, ad revenue from broadcasts of “1ON1” could be a much-needed boost. Today FaZe’s stock was up nearly 11% to $14.60 per share. Despite a shaky start to trading after its $725 million SPAC merger cleared, FaZe’s stock continues to trend vertically, up over 37% since going public July 20.

FaZe and the NFL first struck a merchandising deal in 2019. The collab also sponsored a flag football game earlier this year during the Super Bowl LVI weekend. They even got Snoop Dogg to rock a FaZe chain during the show—clever branding on their part.

Despite starting as a group of “Call of Duty” players making YouTube content and having deep roots in gaming, FaZe’s focus on sports and being active isn’t new. Back in 2019 Richard “Banks” Bengston, one of the organization’s founders and co-owners, told the New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz he wanted to push back on the outdated myth that all gamers are overweight basement dwellers, noting “we aren’t shy, antisocial quote unquote weird kids that are out of shape, don’t play sports.”

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks
Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

Read moreShow less

Hoopla’s Deron Quon on Keeping Perspective as a Founder

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Hoopla’s Deron Quon
Image courtesy of Deron Quon.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, serial founder and angel investor Deron Quon discusses the human side of entrepreneurship and how a founder’s ethos can impact company culture.

Read moreShow less