British esports organisation Guild Esports has announced a partnership with Merky FC, a venture created jointly by British rapper Stormzy and sportswear brand Adidas.
The partnership will see Guild work together with Merky FC to support careers that seek to provide on-the-job experience and training to Black and Black Mixed Heritage youth in the UK.
Launched in November 2022, the Merky FC project aims to support career paths for underrepresented youth in the UK and abroad by working with high-profile brands and companies such as Manchester United and LadBible. Merky FC has been created to tackle the low representation of people with black heritage in the sports and entertainment industries.
Guild Esports is the first esports brand to collaborate with Merky FC, and the company noted that it wants to use the partnership as an opportunity to help raise the profile of diverse voices in the gaming and esports industries. Although few details have been disclosed, Guild Esports will start offering career placements in 2024 and try and provide as much real-world experience in esports to those involved.
Stormzy is one of UK’s most-known rappers and musicians, known for his love of football and sports. The rapper joined forces with former Crystal Palace and current Galatasaray player Wilfried Zaha to buy non-league club AFC Croydon in 2023. The partnership with Guild Esports is a logical one for Merky FC, due to the organisation’s ties to football through its ambassador David Beckham.
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports, commented: “Addressing the distinct lack of representation that exists across so many industries is of great importance to our organisation and informed the decision for Guild Esports to partner with #Merky FC.
“Gaming and esports are creative industries that suffer from a lack of diversity, but by taking the action suggested in the report commissioned by Adidas and Stormzy – we can create more opportunities for under-represented communities and hope to see long-term change across the industry.”