“It’s interesting to see two former music executives leading one of the key brands in a space – esports – that has been a high priority for labels looking for new partnerships and biz-dev opportunities,” wrote Music Ally in May 2022.
This was in response to the news that music-biz veteran Zach Katz had been appointed as president and COO of gaming and esports brand FaZe Clan. He was reporting to CEO Lee Trink, another former music industry executive.
However, the story hasn’t ended happily for the latter. Bloomberg reported that he has now been ejected by FaZe Clan’s board, after the company’s market cap plummeted “from $1 billion to almost worthless” as its share price declined.
Having gone public in a SPAC merger in 2021, the company’s financial results tell their own story of challenges.
The big figure at the start of its Q2 2023 shareholder letter is ‘512 million total reach’ in terms of audience. But revenues in that quarter were $11.7m, down from $18.8m the year before due to “deceleration in brand sponsorship revenue”.
Meanwhile, in 2023 FaZe Clan has posted net losses of $14m, $18.9m and $28.4m in Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively. The music and esports crossover has yet to prove as lucrative as was once hoped.