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Jerry Jones-backed GameSquare Holdings Acquires Esports Giant FaZe Clan

Plus: Worldwide Express unveils new corporate identity, WWEX Group; Sunwest Communications acquires Spaeth Communications; and more.
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Jul 20, 2019; Miami Beach, FL, USA; 100 Thieves play against Faze Clan during the Call of Duty League Finals e-sports event at Miami Beach Convention Center. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

GameSquare Holdings, headquartered at The Star in Frisco, acquired one of the world’s leading esports brands FaZe Clan, which boasts more than 1 billion social followers. GameSquare went public on NASDAQ in Q2 through a merger with Engine Gaming and is backed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and DFW commercial real estate savant John Goff.

CEO Justin Kenna—the former CFO of FaZe Clan—told D CEO: “FaZe was a client, and obviously we have a lot of cross over and close ties so conversations were more around how do we do more together and work together as partners. It eventually progressed when we realized that they were contemplating some form of liquidity event.

“The infrastructure we have built and understanding of the asset are perfectly suited to plugging in to the FaZe ecosystem and really turning this around.”

FaZe Clan went public in 2022 on the NASDAQ, but their stock price eventually plummeted below $1. GameSquare also owns rival esports brand Complexity Gaming.

Combined, FaZe Clan and GameSquare generated annual revenue of approximately $138 million and achieved a 26.3 percent gross margin in 2022. Management expects over $18 million in run-rate cost savings from the FaZe Clan acquisition, supported by reduced duplicate corporate costs and other cost savings. The deal currently values FaZe Clan at $16 million, despite FaZe Clan’s claim two years ago that a SPAC would value the company at $1 billion.

Through the acquisition, FaZe Clan founders will rejoin the company. “The founders are absolutely key to the brand vision and growth and I wasn’t interested in doing this deal without them on board,” Kenna told D CEO.

“I’m confident that with Tommy, Apex and me back in charge of the brand, FaZe Clan will get back to where it was in its peak years,” said Richard “FaZe Banks” Bengtson, who will take on the CEO role of FaZe Clan after the transaction closes. “We grew up on the internet and understand this brand better than anyone ever could. We are grateful to have found a partner in GameSquare who sees that value in us and can help execute our vision. We’re going to produce first, talk later.”

From 2018 to 2020, Kenna was FaZe’s CFO. “When I started, it was eight kids working out of a house and doing a couple million bucks in revenue—but losing a lot of money,” Kenna said. “We built out additional revenue streams by crossing over with brand partnerships with traditional sports and entertainment. And I ended up raising $60 million in debt and equity for FaZe.”

Now, Kenna—who expects to garner a $1 billion valuation for GameSquare in three years—will have another chance at building the esports brand.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023. GameSquare shareholders will own approximately 55 percent of the new merged company, with FaZe Clan shareholders owning approximately 45 percent.

Worldwide Express Unveils New Corporate Identity, WWEX Group

After years of strategic planning and acquisitions, three third-party logistics providers, Worldwide Express, GlobalTranz, and Unishippers, have unveiled a new and collective corporate identity: The WWEX Group. The combined entities become the second-largest privately held logistics company in the U.S. with nearly $5 billion in cumulative revenue and 121,000 customers. Before the acquisitions, each of the three companies specialized in separate areas of the field and operated on diverse sales models.

WWEX Group’s companies offer SMB, mid-market, and large enterprise customers all the major shipping solutions, including parcel, less than truckload, full truckload, managed transportation, and expedited. The group will stay headquartered in Dallas and now has over 2,800 employees, 200 franchises and 500 agents in offices and markets across the country, and an office in Monterrey, Mexico. 

“Through our family of brands, WWEX Group offers the most far-reaching distribution model, the best talent, industry-leading carrier relationships, proprietary technology and the most comprehensive suite of shipping options in the industry,” said Tom Madine, CEO of WWEX Group. 

Sunwest Communications Acquires Spaeth Communications

Sunwest Communications has acquired Spaeth Communications. The union will see Marrie Spaeth, founder of Spaeth Communications, join Southwest as founder of Spaeth Training. Through her patented methods, Marrie will lead Southwest’s Communications Training portfolio and help clients improve at interviews, presentations, and witness preparation, equipping them with a competitive edge. 

“From the boardroom to the cabinet room, Merrie Spaeth is the foremost expert in preparing those in high-profile positions to skillfully navigate difficult interviews, whether that’s in front of a camera, at the podium or on the witness stand,” said Crayton Webb, owner and CEO of Sunwest Communications. 

Before founding Spaeth Communications in 1987, Spaeth was a producer for ABC’s 20/20, a speechwriter for the founder and chairman of CBS, William S. Paley, and was assigned to FBI Director Judge William Webster while serving as a White House Fellow. She has also served as the head of public affairs for the Federal Trade Commission and as director of media relations at the White House in the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

Tony Fay PR Named Nation’s Small Agency of the Year

PRNEWS, one of the country’s leading media and communication organizations, has named Tony Fay as the nation’s Small Agency of the Year. Members of the company received the National Platinum Award for the achievement of the company. 

Tony Fay was one of only four agencies to receive three or more nominations at the awards. 

“I am proud that we are being recognized as a leader in the public relations industry for the incredible results we deliver daily,” said Tony Fay, founder and CEO of Tony Fay Public Relations.

Authors

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…
Vivasvaan Aditya Raj

Vivasvaan Aditya Raj

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