Leicester City FC player and former Austrian international Christian Fuchs is a footballer first, but an entrepreneur close second.
Refusing to be left back whilst companies and business savvy folk make moves in esports around him, Fuchs has expanded his #NoFuchsGiven apparel brand and extended it into the space with a FIFA 18 team. As the first individual Premier League player to do so, this made some headlines, and so we deemed it only proper that we sit down with the man himself to see what his plans are.
Esports Insider: When did esports first come onto your radar, and when did you first start considering creating a business in the space?
Christian Fuchs: I have been keeping an eye on the industry from afar for a while. The growth of games like Fortnite has been amazing and there is a real buzz about the industry in general. I wanted to do my research before I moved into it.
The final decision was pretty recently when I saw how much interest my son has for pro gaming. And, I quickly realised how fast this business is growing.
That was the reasoning behind starting my own team and getting into esports.
ESI: Which games do you play yourself, and who’s the keenest (and best..) gamer in the Leicester City squad?
Christian: My schedule doesn’t allow me too much gaming now but growing up I played FIFA on a daily basis. I still consider myself a pretty good player!
Gaming is popular in our squad and often you would see players involved in FIFA or Fortnite, however I won’t reveal who is the best!
ESI: You chose to make the team an expansion of your #NoFuchsGiven apparel and lifestyle brand, and we’re seeing a number of esports focused apparel companies emerge of late. Will you be exploring lines aimed at gamers and esports fans?
Christian: Yes, we started off by creating the team outfits and we are now looking into extending this with a gaming line.
We’ll be developing a line of tracksuits and t-shirts initially, and then depending on the feedback, we’ll be looking into expanding further beyond this too.
I feel the #NoFuchsGiven clothing brand is suited to the lifestyle and ethos of gamers so I think there will be a strong, natural fit.
ESI: #NoFuchsGiven has kicked off with FIFA 18, are you already considering entering other titles? The forthcoming Fortnite World Cup has maybe caught your eye, or perhaps some established classics such as League of Legends, CS:GO or Dota?
Christian: I’m a footballer so my primary focus and logical first step is FIFA 18. I understand the game and I can understand what the players are looking to achieve.
That’s how and why we started the NoFuchsGiven esports academy. That said, we are most certainly open to branching out into different titles in the future.
ESI: Are you surprised at the Premier League’s lack of movement in esports to date? We’re all waiting for an announcement soon of course..how do you see them and the clubs getting involved?
Christian: I’m looking forward to the gaming equivalent of the Premier League.
It is likely being announce very soon as you say, and with the weight of the brand and its mass appeal internationally, it should make a big splash in the esports space.
I personally believe the Premier League will launch with FIFA (1v1) game although I’m curious too to see if they opt for 11v11. As for whether they makes moves in other titles, for sure I think it’s possible but it depends on the initial response and success of their launch and first campaign. In the short term it’s unlikely.