UK esports organisation Guild Esports has announced a new strategic partnership with cult football team, Ireland-based Finn Harps FC – also known as Harps.
Statistically one of the lowest-ranked teams in history when it comes to FIFA games, Harps will work with Guild Esports to increase Guild’s audience base in Ireland, and to encourage Irish FIFA gaming talent to join Guild’s academy, helping them become esports stars of tomorrow.
Founded in 1954, Finn Harps FC is a member-owned community football club based in Ballybofey, County Donegal, at the club’s home ground of Finn Park.
Playing in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland (SSE Airtricity League), the team rose to prominence during the 1970s, winning the FAI Cup in the 1973-74 season, and picked up a cult following that grew as Harps featured in EA FIFA games in the early 2000s onwards.
Guild regularly features Harps in its FIFA show FFFFFFF, which achieved millions of views for season one.
Guild branding will feature on both Harps’ first and second replica kits and in FIFA 22, alongside a series of fan-led activations featuring Harps players and club staff with Guild athletes.
Guild will also have a presence around Finn Park, as the esports organisation will feature prominently across matchday programmes, advertising hoardings and the club’s digital and social media channels during the partnership, with the opportunity for a further year to follow.
Michelle Tierney, chief commercial officer at Guild Esports, said: “We’re immensely proud of this unique partnership, and the opportunities it will offer for both Guild and Harps to create impact in Ireland’s growing esports scene.
“Harps have built a truly amazing reputation and following as everyone’s second favourite team in FIFA, and we want to use this partnership to expand that reputation even further, and to position Guild as everyone’s favourite esports team.”
Aidan Campbell, marketing officer at Finn Harps, added: “We would like to welcome everyone from Guild into the Finn Harps family. This partnership offers some genuinely exciting possibilities for Finn Harps and it began when we learned we had attracted a cult following on Guild’s FIFA show.
“This led to a series of meetings between our media/marketing team and Guild about the possibilities of working together on projects that could harness the huge crossover between live football and the Irish esports community.”
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.