Microsoft’s Ben Payne is McLaren’s new esports director

“I’m looking forward to helping the McLaren brand grow and develop through its esports and gaming proposition”

Ben Payne has joined car company McLaren to help front its venture into the esports sector.

He assumes the role of director of esports. He comes from Microsoft where he worked in third party marketing and events for Xbox and global campaigns for Windows. He has previously worked at Sega, 2K Games and Future.

McLaren announced plans to become involved in esports earlier this year. It is currently running its World’s Fastest Gamer competition – a programme Payne will now run. He will also be responsible for new partnerships.

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

McLaren technology group director Zak Brown 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 1, makes this a natural area of expansion for us.”

Chief marketing officer John Allert continued: “We want to position McLaren as a market leader in this category. With World’s Fastest Gamer, we were the first Formula 1 team to create an esports property and now Ben’s appointment will accelerate the ambitious plans we have to grow this area of the business. We have already forged successful esports partnerships with Logitech G and Sparco, and we’re looking to develop a partner community around our gaming properties.”