While this is McDonald’s largest gaming content effort to date, it isn't the first time the brand has worked with gaming influencers. Local offices have previously partnered with gaming influencers and leagues around initiatives, such as an NBA 2K tournament with McDonald’s crew in California, according to McDonald's.
“McDonald’s is excited to partner with Faze Clan to highlight the communities we serve and champion their passion points in a fun way," said Christopher Mann, chair of McDonald's USA Franchisee Marketing Committee, in a statement. “Through this partnership, we're proud to shine a light on the growing diversity of the gaming industry to positively impact the future of gaming for youth.”
Faze Clan’s content operation now has 85 gaming creators known for their content that spans across gaming, sports, culture and entertainment and have an overall reach of 350 million. Faze Clan members include a mix of esports stars, content creators and sports talent outside of the gaming world including LeBron James’ 16-year-old son Bronny, National Basketball Association star Ben Simmons and rapper Lil Yachty, who just appeared in a content series for snack brand Totino’s on behalf of Faze Clan. The organization has nine esports teams in leagues such as “Call of Duty,” “Fortnite” and “Fifa.” In June, the content house made history by becoming the first esports company to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.
“At Faze, we continue to move diversity and inclusion to the forefront of our priorities and are proud to partner with an iconic brand like McDonald's who has paved the way,” says Faze Clan CEO Lee Trink. “This is another example of Faze expanding our brand beyond the gaming realm and we hope our fans enjoy the content that comes from this groundbreaking partnership.”
McDonald's has been working to increase its diversity and inclusion efforts, such as pledging to increase spending with diverse-owned media and production partners, and tied executive pay to representation goals. The company has faced allegations of racial discrimination against Black franchisees. And in May, Byron Allen sued McDonald's, seeking $10 billion in damages for racial discrimination, alleging the restaurant giant intentionally discriminated against his company through “a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract.”