The intersection of gaming and culture has always been apparent and universal, and we don’t need recent the news to tell you otherwise. Whether you played Michael Jackson in a video game as a kid or watched the Pokemon movie in theaters, gaming always had ties to our culture.
But, now we are starting to see this connection bind itself to esports more prominently. Organizations like FaZeClan and 100Thieves have been leading the pack in terms of implementing culture, respectively, into the branding, well before the mainstream surge began.
HAMMER x FAZE 🔥🔨
While Drake and Scooter Braun invested in 100Thieves, FaZeClan added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Lil Yachty to their house. These were, of course, early examples and it’s only beginning to happen more frequently, especially with professional athletes.
Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard has officially joined FaZe clan as an investor. The 27-year-old baller revealed this new investment on his LinkedIn account just after his team won the final regular season game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
But, even before the announcement, Leonard has been trickling out bread crumbs, hinting at his relationship with FaZe Clan. He’s previously worn a custom pair of black and grey Nike LeBron 16s sneakers with the FaZe logo on them. And he’s also was spotted wearing FaZe Clan Fortnite player Brendan ‘Jaomock’ O’Brien’s jersey before game on January 17th.
Leonard may be the most recent example but he isn’t the only person from sports to dive head first into esports these past few years. Other notable culture shakers include former Los Angeles Lakers Rick Fox. who launched Echo Fox in 2015, Steph Curry, who invested in the esports organization TSM and of course, thee Shaquille O’Neal who has a knack for smartly investing in companies or products that others may not.
I expect to see more people in sports announce ties or connections to esports organizations and establishments. If The Weeknd just announced his, I wonder who the next athlete will be?