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ABOUT US

Music-Sports League (MSL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Newport News, VA that specializes in a new form of music competition called, "Music-Performance Sports", in which, music competition is organized as a sport. Independent recording artists are the players of the league, and they compete with their songs and performances throughout a season that includes a regular season, playoff, and ranking system. MSL is dedicated to the career development, education, and promotion of independent music via its flagship program called, the "Independent Artist Competition Series" (IACS)

Our Mission

To establish Music-Sports as a viable competitive music-performance program to enhance the promotion, education, and career development of independent recording artists. 

Juan A. Thompson

FOUNDER/COMMISSIONER

Juan A. Thompson, a native of Dayton, OH, got his initial start in music in 1996 when his friend took him to a local independent label's studio. He was mesmerized by the atmosphere and knew that music was something he wanted to be involved in. He made his first beat on Playstation's MTV Music Generator and found himself hooked on production. A few years later, he found his nitch with consulting and advocating for other independent artists. Over the years, he has worked with dozens of independent recording artists, and independent labels in many capacities (producer, writer, A&R, management, marketing, consulting, and executive advisor). Juan has always had a passion for seeing artists reach their full potential. 


Juan is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where he has his Associate's in Business Administration. He's also a former boxer of over 20 years, his favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys, and an avid video gamer, PS5, to be specific.  He currently resides in Newport News, VA. 

History of Music-Sports

In 2012, while watching American Idol, Juan thought it would be cool to see a music competition with different genres going head-to-head. That evening, he went to sleep and found himself in a massive arena where hundreds of people were cheering on the match between a rapper and singer. Mesmerized by the excitement of the audience, he felt the ambiance of a championship fight. In that same dream, he, then, found himself watching a press conference between those very same artists. He noticed that they were speaking as if they were athletes. That's when it dawned on him that he was watching some sort of music competition that had a sports-like vibe to it. That morning, he called his mother and explained the dream, to which, she responded, "Juan, I don't think that was just a dream, I think you were given a vision." Juan thought to himself how this could be something unique to offer up-and-coming independent recording artists seeking a new way to engage fans. He then began studying different forms of sport, learning their infrastructure and business models. 


In 2013, Juan hosted his first music competition in the living room of a friend's home, in which, he had a few artists competing. He called the event, "Def-U-Jam" because he had Def Jam A&R Wise McGriff attending the event. In 2014, he incorporated IACS Music-Sports League, LLC, and put on his first music competition with the sports concept when he hosted the "IACS 7-Cities Championship" on April 14th at Shaka's Bar & Lounge. Despite a few hiccups, the event was a success with the winner "B.A.S.I.C.", a rapper from Virginia Beach. Juan continued to host various events from 2014 - 2017. In 2018, Juan decided to scale back and restructure the organization to make it more consistent with organizations like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL which are nonprofits. He felt this was the route that needs to happen to see Music-Sports one day being recognized as an actual legitimate sport. On January 25, 2021, Juan incorporated Music-Sports League as a Virginia nonstock organization and received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that May. That same year, under Music-Sports League, Juan commissioned the Song vs Song Series (SvS), a virtual series that incorporates voters deciding the winners of independent artists' songs matched up. He successfully ran 3-games receiving over 6,500 votes combined. In 2022, he organized the 2022 7-Cities Song vs Song Series, in which he was able to commission five virtual games, and one live game. The series received 10,600 public votes, with 87% of the voters coming from Hampton Roads. On Oct 29, 2022, MSL made history by hosting the world's first-ever live Music-Performance sports game, "Song vs Song Series: Playoffs", with rapper B Menace, Suffolk, VA. winning the SvS Championship belt. 

From Left to Right, (Founder/Commissioner, Juan A. Thompson; SvS Champion, B Menace; Co-Founder, Las Hicks; Co-Founder, Camrin "AyeMontie" Figueroa)

Juan envisions Music-Performance sports to be a multi-faceted platform that could create its own culture, industry, and way of life. His ultimate goal is to get Music-Performance sports in the Olympic games by 2040.

Our Commitment to Hampton Roads 

Along with our commitment to independent recording artists, our commitment to Hampton Roads is just as important. Our goal is to partner with local businesses and help contribute to the overall economic prosperity of Hampton Roads through job creation, hosting community events, improving our homelessness situation, and promoting entrepreneurship.