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MSL (Music-Sports League) is the first-ever music-performance sports organization. Dedicated to the career development, education, and promotion of unsigned recording artists, MSL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Newport News, VA. Donations to MSL are 100% tax-deductible.  

EIN: 86-1869202. 



Our mission is to provide independent artists the performance platform to enhance fan engagement, the entrepreneurial and industry tools to enhance their business knowledge, and the resources to enhance career potential. 


For many of us, music is such an important element of our lives, but most don't think about the most important element...the artist. The music industry has changed drastically since the dawn of the internet in good and bad ways. The goods are the evolution of how they grow fans, make money, and promote their music. The bad is how artists are more defined based on their social media following moreover their music, skills, and talent. This hinders quality artists from gaining opportunities because they're being overlooked due to their low social media following. To grow fans it takes money, industry knowledge, and education which many of them lack. Through our IACS program, we tend to close that gap by paying our players, and, yes, we said, "PLAYERS", providing them the industry knowledge, and marketing resources to be competitive when they're ready to commercially release their music. 


The IACS Beta Fund will allow us to finance a pilot season of the IACS, our first Music-Sports program. The goal is to uncover any issues with running a season from both a budget and operational standpoint before going live in 2024. The IACS will feature a new form of music competition called, "Music-Performance Sports" (MPS). MPS takes a revolutionary approach to solo artist stage performance competition by conducting it as an organized sport under a pro sports league infrastructure. So, think "The Voice" combined with an NFL/NBA infrastructure, except all genres (rappers and singers) go head-to-head in an OPEN competition that'll include the following: a draft, preseason, regular season, playoff, and power ranking

Each game will be recorded as a sports broadcast (commentators, reporters interviewing the players as they come off stage, press conferences, etc.). So, think NFL/NBA style broadcast, but it's Music-Sports. 

IACS is organized to be a sector league (sectors are organized as franchises) where individuals and companies can petition to own and operate an IACS sector in their respective cities. The goal is to mature into a 32-sector league within 10 years. However, we understand that in order to attract franchisees, we have to show a proven profitable business model as franchisees have the option to organize as a nonprofit or for-profit. So, the IACS (7) Cities (nonprofit) will be our flagship and model sector under which we'll run our beta season. We will draft 8-players to compete. The players will be paid per game during the regular season and playoffs. Determined by their win/loss record, 4-players will clinch a playoff spot to compete for the championship. This is an all-genre league where the players may rap, sing, or rap and sing in their matches. All songs must be original and may not include profanity, promoting violence, drugs, or offensive language in relation to sex, gender, or sexual preference. 


IACS-Players' SalaryPlayers would receive payment of a league minimum salary ($350) per week throughout the 12-week regular season and playoffs, plus incentives. We pride ourselves in showing our players we value their participation, skills, and talent, providing extra income to support their families, or further monetarily investing in their music careers. 

IACS-Franchise ProgramWe want to inspire new entrepreneurs to invest in Music-Sports by owning an IACS sector. The impact of owning an IACS sector will be creating jobs in the community, building relationships with other businesses, supporting the local economy through tax payments, and potentially sponsoring local events or causes that support the community. 

MSL-University: This will be our online education portal exclusively for our players to build their knowledge base on subjects such as entrepreneurship, finance, mentorship, and life skills. This will impact our players' ability to confidentially make strategic business decisions, economically impacting their communities by opening local businesses and giving back to their communities by investing time in mentoring the youth.

IACS-Players' Perks Program: Gym reimbursement, health, and wellness coaching, and mental health therapy. We want to encourage our players to have the "athlete mindset" to stay competitive, eat healthily and stay in good condition will offer competitive advantages on stage. As competition can be fun but also mentally straining at times, ensuring our players have the mental and emotional outreach is the utmost important element of our league. 


While shows like American Idol and The Voice have provided untapped talent great opportunities, artists that perform on these shows aren't paid unless they win the entire competition. In addition, their exposure is limited to how long they stay on the show. Lastly, the artists that lose, we tend to not hear much more from them. The IACS will pay the players to compete per game. Each player will get the same salary payment. Players may also make incentives for certain benchmarks they reach. Players will also be paid performance royalties due to them performing their own songs. Many unsigned artists never see a paycheck from their music, not because it's not good enough but, simply, because of the lack of exposure, they're not being booked for shows or/and not getting enough listeners to generate digital royalties on platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music. 

Remember, every day, there are millions of artists, both independent and major, releasing new music and grinding to gain new listeners. Music is a very oversaturated and competitive business and the majority of why unsigned artists struggle without a sizable marketing budget. Juan A. Thompson, MSL Founder/Commissioner

As far as exposure, players compete under a 16-week regular season, so, they're performing anywhere from 20 to 30 original songs throughout the regular season alone. If they clinch a playoff spot, they're performing at least 4 new songs. No songs may be repeated, so, in each match, the player must perform a new song. We believe this will show true competitiveness. This gives the players a full catalog of new music throughout the season for potential fans to enjoy. THIS IS NOT A SINGING COMPETITION...we allow players to sing, rap, or rap and sing when they compete in any genre they feel competitive in any match. We believe this will enable players to attract all sorts of fans even fans that may not even follow a particular genre. Overall, our main goal is fan engagement for our players, without fans, no artist can survive professionally or economically. 


We believe the IACS will revolutionize how unsigned artists are developed, promoted, paid, and discovered by making it a sport versus a TV show. We envision IACS players one day earning the same perks as traditional athletes (celebrity, sponsorships, endorsements, business opportunities, etc.). In addition, our vision is to create a new form of sports entertainment for the general public, create new jobs in our communities, a new culture that'll influence youth and adult artists to have an "athlete mindset", future mentors for our youth, and generate new wealth for entrepreneurs. 


- Submissions Round, Jan 5th - Feb 5th; 

- Scouting Round, Feb 10th - 28th;

- Performance Trials, Mar 24th - 26th;

- Draft, Apr 21st - 22nd;

- Preseason Game, May;

- Regular Season (8-games), June - August; 

- Playoff, August 

Fund Allocation:

Venue: $15,000

Players' Salary: $23,000


Staff: $8,000

For unexpected expenses$9,000


* Donors $50 and over receive an MSL T-Shirt, and an exclusive private invite to attend IACS beta games either virtually or live to allow you to see our progress.  

NOTE: Beta games will not be open to the general public