Colin Cowherd has come around on esports. Seven years after saying gaming was “for booger-eaters” and threatening on-air to quit if his employer made him cover a competition, Cowherd has done a 180 on the topic.
His digital media network, The Volume, recently acquired a Madden-focused YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers and hired the talent behind it, Brady “Mayz” Mays, in a multi-year deal.
“I’ve had a total change of heart,” Cowherd said via email. “That business is so lucrative that parents these days might be telling their kids to STOP playing outside and go inside and play some video games.”
The Volume launched last year as a sports-focused podcast network in partnership with iHeartMedia and has since expanded to include video content as well, turning to stars such as Draymond Green and Richard Sherman to anchor its offerings in various traditional sports.
“At The Volume, we comb the internet for people who cut through within a specific genre,” Cowherd said. “We wanted to find a unique talent in esports, starting with Madden, and at every turn, someone on the internet was pointing to Mayz.”
Mays, 25, who is based in San Diego, started his YouTube channel in 2016 after his freshman year of college. He began streaming more regularly after COVID-19 hit, and—after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a masters in industrial engineering—decided to pursue the craft full time.
“I’m excited to bring a new, innovative style of content to the table,” Mays said via email. “Partnering with Colin and The Volume is a testament to the growth and legitimacy of the gaming industry today.”
The Volume’s head of content, Logan Swaim, said the company scouted numerous gaming creators before landing on Mays, who brings a high-level of gameplay and professional production skills to his channel, as well as well-timed flatulence sound effects. The network plans to boost his brand via its social media channels and help him evolve his content offerings. Mays will also be the The Volume’s first talent to stream on Twitch.
Swaim added that the company is still “looking for unique personalities in both gaming and beyond.”
Madden 23 drops this week, and Mays is hoping to challenge NFL players on his new platform. The NFL is also doing more with gamers, having recently signed a multi-year deal with EA to support the Madden NFL Championship Series, which this year will conclude shortly before the (IRL) Super Bowl.