Automotive company and Formula One team McLaren has named Ben Payne as its first ever director of esports.
Payne joins the Woking outfit from Silicon Valley giant Microsoft, where he held roles in third party marketing, partnerships and events for Xbox as well as working on global campaigns for its Windows platform.
In April, McLaren became the first Formula One team to announce their own esports property, the World’s Fastest Gamer (WFG), which was created in partnership with advertising service provider Ideas+Cars, technology brand Logitech G, industry outlet Givemesport and automotive accessory company Sparco.
Payne will be responsible for overseeing the growth and development of McLaren’s esports strategy, including all aspects of the WFG programme.
“I’m delighted to be joining McLaren as director of esports during the climax of this year’s prestigious WFG contest,” said Payne. “It’s undoubtedly an exciting time to be joining the organisation.”
Zak Brown, executive director at McLaren Technology Group, added: “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 One, makes this a natural area of expansion for us.”