McLaren appoints Ben Payne as Director of Esports

Ben Payne, McLaren

During the climax of the World’s Fastest Gamer series at its UK based technology centre, McLaren has announced that the company has appointed Ben Payne as Head of Esports. 

Payne makes the move from Microsoft, where he held roles in ‘third party marketing, partnerships and events’ for Xbox EMEA, as well as working on global campaigns for Windows. 

Today marks the same day that the World’s Fastest Gamer, a competition which’ll see one sim racer rewarded with a 12 month contract by the automotive company and F1 team, enter its final week. As such it’s a memorable one for Payne’s first day in the job. It’s also something of a historic role as this is the first dedicated position for an Esports Director at an F1 team. Back in April this year, McLaren became the first Formula 1 team to announce its own esports property in the form of World’s Fastest Gamer. The WFG has been a joint collaboration between McLaren, Millennial Esports’ owned IDEAS+CARS, Logitech G, GIVEMESPORT and Sparco. 

Discussing his appointment, Payne said: “I’m delighted to be joining McLaren as director of esports during the climax of this year’s prestigious World’s Fastest Gamer contest.

“It’s undoubtedly an exciting time to be joining the organisation, and I’m looking forward to helping the McLaren brand grow and develop through its esports and gaming proposition.”

Payne will be responsible for overseeing ‘the growth and development of McLaren’s esports strategy, including all aspects of the World’s Fastest Gamer programme’. He will also lead the ‘development of the WFG partner community, activate gaming partnerships across retail, media partnerships and key industry events’.

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group commented: “Gaming and esports are two huge and exciting markets, and we believe that they’re essential elements of McLaren’s new marketing platform.

“The growth and appeal of gaming, and its close relationship to motorsport and Formula 1, makes this a natural area of expansion for us.”

Esports Insider says: McLaren has really stepped it up a gear with this appointment, proving that the company is dedicated to the esports space and wants to use the World’s Fastest Gamer as a springboard rather than a one-off marketing attempt. We’re excited to see what the UK based F1 team has planned for 2018.