New York City FC sign the MLS’s first Fifa eSports player

Christopher Holly

Major League Soccer has finally seen the value of eSports ambassadors with New York City FC becoming the first club to sign up a Fifa player.

Joining sister club Manchester City in inking a deal with a Fifa video game representative, New York City are looking to tap into the popularity of the EA Sports title (which was the bestselling piece of media in the UK in 2016).

Christopher Holly will represent the US side in Fifa tournaments and championships across the globe, where he may come face-to-face with Man City’s Kieran Kez Brown or a number of other players representing some of the world’s leading teams.

Diego Gigliani, senior vice-president of media and innovation at City Football Marketing, said: “At New York City FC, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and get closer to our fans. We are delighted to welcome Christopher Holly to the Club to represent NYCFC as the first ever eSports player in MLS.

“Christopher will play EA Sports Fifa at gaming tournaments around the world and challenge NYCFC fans pre-match as well as our players. We’ll also be creating content and live streaming on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.”

Holly said he was “shocked” that the club touched down with him: “I think NYCFC has some great players such as Pirlo and David Villa. They’re players I used to watch when I was younger so now that they’re in the MLS and in NY, it’s great.”

Holly trains 25 hours a week at the game and December was ranked first in the world on the FUT Champions Leaderboard in December.

The Drum is soon to launch a documentary underlining why football clubs are investing in eSports players, keep an eye out for that later in the season. Get a taster of that here.

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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