FaZe Clan Expands Sports Crossover With NFL QB Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has joined forces with FaZe Clan, becoming their newest member. He is also in the process of joining FaZe Clan as an investor too, though according to ESPN, the athlete received no compensation for the announcement that he was joining FaZe Clan.
“It’s a sign that he recognizes what we’re doing and what we’re up to on the business side, and so it’s great that he has that confidence,” FaZe CEO Lee Trink said in a statement to ESPN. “It was not a condition, it was an opportunity, and we’re excited to have him as a shareholder and as a part owner of the business. We’re not recruiting people just because of fame. IIt’s got to be connected to what we’re doing on a serious level. Like, when you talk to Kyler, it’s apparent how much gaming is a kind of foundational part of his life, or both in entertaining himself, him sharpening his competitive skills, using it to decompress.”
The announcement was made in conjunction with tweets from the NFL, marking one of the first times that the NFL has participated in such an activation with an esports and gaming organization, stating in a skit that FaZe owner Banks had “drafted” Murray.
Joining FaZe a Dream Come True For Murray
Despite being an active NFL player, Murray says that joining FaZe was a huge deal to him due to his interest in gaming that he’s displayed over the years.
“I know how big FaZe is as an organization, how kids look up to FaZe, they want to be a part of FaZe,” Murray told ESPN. “I’ve played video games my whole life, so I was already familiar with FaZe. I knew how big FaZe was. And for [a friend who connected Murray to FaZe] to come back and say, ‘Yo, like, they’re really interested and want you to be part of the family,’ that was kind of shocker to me. I was all-in-just because I play video games a lot, so it was kind of … the fact that it was mutual love was really, really big for me.”
Murray says that FaZe is the ‘Nike of Gaming’ and that they’re the “top of the top, the most elite,” in terms of gaming organizations. By pure reach alone, he’s not wrong – FaZe Clan plays host to some of the most popular gaming personalities on the planet, not to mention many esports organizations (though those have only had mixed success over the years.) Forbes has FaZe Clan ranked as the fourth most valuable organization in esports, with sponsors including Nissan, Verizon, and even previous partnerships in sports with Manchester United.
Murray’s a Member and Part Owner
With Murray’s membership in FaZe Clan, they are very specific, not just to say that he’s an investor but a full member of the organization. This is important because some “investors” and “members” in the organization only associated with the brand through their investment.
This most prominently happened with Meyers Leonard, who was condemned after he used an anti-semitic slur on March 9 on his live stream. In a statement, FaZe was very clear to differentiate him from other members and said that he was never a “member” of the team. The confusion stemmed from Meyers Leonard himself, who said that he was “joining” FaZe Clan in June 2019, though this was never done as a full membership option on the team’s part.
FaZe discussed cutting Meyers off from an investment level too, but this was not “legally permissible.”
Murray joins Lebron James’ son Bronny James as an athlete representing FaZe Clan and joins 85 other organization members to create lifestyle content and streaming. This path could give Murray access to further gaming endorsements through FaZe’s connections, on top of his already lucrative NFL career.