Youth Esports Franchise XP League Adds Industry Leader to Team
Justin “Jay” Hairston Named as Director of Special Programs for Growing Brand
September 29, 2022 // Franchising.com // DALLAS, TX. - XP League, the first and largest esports franchise in North America has added a respected industry veteran in professional esports to its leadership team. The brand has recently named Justin “Jay” Hairston as Director of Special Programs, bringing his years of experience with the biggest teams and brands in esports, gaming and entertainment to the growing national franchise brand.
Hairston served as social director for global esports team Envy (Optic Gaming) and led the digital marketing team responsible for the growth and success of its brands, teams and players competing in popular gaming titles like Rocket League, Fortnite, CSGO and VALORANT as well as Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty League and Overwatch League. He also held the role of Global Community Manager and public face for anime distribution company Funimation (now Crunchyroll) marketed AAA titles: Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and My Hero Academia.
In his new role with XP League, Hairston will also take the lead in the development, implementation and performance of the XP League virtual esports program. This program is a significant addition to operations and league-wide growth. The virtual programming will offer opportunities to young gamers who want to join XP League when there is not yet a location in their city.
“I’m stoked to combine my passion for gaming with my love for helping the youth. I aim to build the best-in-class esports experience from start to finish making our players feel like rockstars and their families wishing that XP League existed when they were kids,” said Hairston.
Launched in 2020, XP League offers a nine-week seasonal program including one practice and one match a week. Each team is led by a coach who focuses on teaching resiliency, teamwork and sportsmanship in addition to gaming skills to elementary, middle and high school students. By integrating these values into the core format of its programming, kids see the positive reward as an exciting part of the overall experience.
“We feel lucky to bring Jay Hairston on at this pivotal time for our brand as we are growing into more cities across North America and interacting with thousands of kids and families,” said Jay Melamed, XP League CEO and Brand President. “Jay brings unmatched knowledge and firsthand experience in the esports world that will directly positively impact our leagues.”
Since its start in 2020, XP League has grown to more than 40 franchised locations across the country and in April 2022 was acquired by Unleashed Brands, the fast-growing parent company of youth enrichment franchise brands, including Urban Air Adventure Park, The Little Gym, Snapology, Premier Martial Arts and Class 101.
About XP League
XP League is the first-to-market youth esports league franchise that bridges the gap between conventional youth athletics and competitive esports. XP League provides an innovative program that fosters social skills and sportsmanship through a positive, certified coach-led structure. Launched in September 2020, XP League has quickly grown to become the first and largest esports franchise concept the U.S. and Canada.
About Unleashed Brands
Unleashed Brands, currently includes portfolio brands Urban Air, Snapology, The Little Gym, XP League, Class 101 and Premier Martial Arts. and was founded to curate and grow a portfolio of the most innovative and profitable brands that help kids learn, play and grow. Over the last 10 years, the team at Unleashed Brands has built a proven platform and know-how for scaling businesses focused on serving families. Its mission is to impact the lives of every kid by providing fun, engaging and inspiring experiences that help them become who they are destined to be. For more information, please visit www.UnleashedBrands.com.
SOURCE XP League
Fishman Public Relations
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