Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster announced Friday the launch of what is described as an “athlete-led gaming entertainment and lifestyle company” called Team Diverge. The new organization founded by Smith-Schuster, who will also serve as CEO, will focus on esports competition and game-related content creation on various platforms, according to the announcement.
Team Diverge has already signed several content creators across multiple titles to serve as the core team, with plans to expand its rosters in the months to come. That expansion will include recruiting “several athletes, musicians, and celebrities.”
Other plans for the organization include launching the “Team Diverge Gaming House” in Spring 2021 to serve as a headquarters for talent, and streetwear-inspired apparel in “collaboration with activewear brands and talent.” In the past he has collaborated with brands such as adidas, MeUndies, and FaZe Clan through his clothing company Team Juju.
A representative for the organization tells The Esports Observer that Smith-Schuster and his partners are funding the organization, and that outside investments would be welcome when and if Team Diverge decides to scale in the future. Those partners include Visionary Sports CEO Karan Gill and streamer Kobe Toa.
And while Team Diverge doesn’t currently have plans to build rosters to compete in franchised leagues, it will create a team that can compete regularly in gaming tournaments. The main focus in the early days is to scale the organization’s community, and create content on Twitch and YouTube.
While Smith-Schuster is creating his own organization, the representative told TEO that he will continue to interact with FaZe Clan, noting that “JuJu is currently focused on building his own organization. All of his resources and time is going into Team Diverge, however, he will always be a part of the FaZe family.”
Finally, the rep said that Smith-Schuster will retain his current partnerships and sponsorships and that these won’t carry over to his new organization. Plans are already underway to find partnerships that align with Team Diverge, its members, community, and the content it wants to create.
Smith-Schuster is a long-time collaborator with FaZe Clan, and worked with the organization in the past on a limited-edition clothing line. He has also served as an ambassador for peripherals company HyperX and as an esports ambassador to sports fitness brand Hyperice. In May, Smith-Schuster invested an undisclosed amount of money in Blitz Studios, developer of Sleeper. He has 184K followers Twitch, 1.04M subscribers on YouTube, and 1.1M followers on Twitter.
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