DraftKings partner

Esports and Gen Z-focused media platform FaZe Clan debuts on Nasdaq after $725M SPAC merger

2022-07-21
Reading time 3:06 min

Gaming and youth culture media platform FaZe Clan on Tuesday completed its $725 million business combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by an affiliate of B. Riley Financial, and started trading as a public company on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, under the new ticker symbols "FAZE" and “FAZEW”.

Following the merger with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp., announced in October last year, the combined company has been renamed “FaZe Holdings Inc.”. To celebrate FaZe’s public listing, the brand’s founders, members of the executive management team and the organization’s talent roster including content creators and esports professionals, rang the Opening Bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.

Launched in 2010, FaZe Clan includes offerings in the markets of online gaming, esports, sports merchandise and digital content, with a fan base network of approximately 500 million across its combined social platforms, and nearly 80% of its audience between the ages of 13-34. The company has received funding and support from celebrities including rappers Pitbull and Offset, e-commerce platform Ntwrk, media executive Jimmy Iovine. It counts athletes Kyler Murray and Ben Simmons among its content creators.

Back in November last year, DraftKings teamed up with FaZe Clan, to become the Official Sports Betting, iGaming, Daily Fantasy and Free-to-Play Partner of the digital-native lifestyle brand. The agreement sees both companies uniting across digital platforms for a series of content activations. FaZe has also partnered with major companies including McDonald's Corp. and Verizon Communications to target young consumers.

The company is led by Lee Trink, Chief Executive Officer, who assumed his current role in 2018 after joining the company as an advisor in 2016. Formerly President of Capitol Records with over 20 years of media and entertainment experience working with artists like Kid Rock, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and The Rolling Stones.

Zach Katz, President and Chief Operating Officer, joined in 2022 following an over 20 year extensive music industry career including President of BMG US, co-founder and CEO of record label and music publishing company, Beluga Heights (a partnership with Sony Music, Warner Music & Universal Music). Katz began his career as a music attorney and music manager. 

The Board of Directors includes Andre Fernandez, CFO of WeWork; Angela Dalton, founder and CEO of Signum Growth CapitalPaul Hamilton, Co-Owner and CEO of Atlanta Esports Ventures, which operates the Atlanta FaZe in the Call of Duty League and the Atlanta Reign in the Overwatch League, and also Chairman of Nevada's Esports Technical Advisory Committee; Bruce Gordon, partner and member of the executive management committee of The ExCo Group and Senior Media Advisor to AlixPartners; Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Cordozar Broadus Jr., an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, DJ, media personality, and entrepreneur; Ross Levinsohn, Chairman and CEO of the Arena Group and previous CEO at Guggenheim Digital Media and Yahoo, among others.

Trink commented: “This is a landmark event for gaming culture and Gen Z, as FaZe Clan becomes the first Gen Z native brand to go public. It provides us the access to capital and global profile to enable our long-term growth objectives, and for the first time gives our fans the opportunity to own a part of our future. As this generation rises to economic power and influence, FaZe will continue to use its voice to pioneer and innovate at the intersection of technology, entertainment and culture. We thank our partners at B. Riley and look forward to engaging with our shareholders. FaZe Up!”

Dan Shribman, Chief Investment Officer of B. Riley Financial, said: “With an unparalleled level of engagement with Gen Z, FaZe represents a strong opportunity to invest in the future of digital-native entertainment. Establishing a presence in the public markets provides FaZe the opportunity to meaningfully expand its global presence across content, gaming, entertainment, consumer products and Web3. We look forward to our continued partnership as FaZe paves the way for the future of gaming and youth culture.”

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