Youth Sports Brand XP League Kicks Off Expansion

XP League Franchise

Esports Franchise Anticipates 25 New Agreements Before 2023

As the final quarter of 2022 ticks down, it marks a period of strong expansion by XP League, an electronic sports gaming franchise for youthful players. XP League helps 8- to 17-year-old esports competitors hone their gaming skills with custom coaching just as traditional athletes work on physical moves to improve their performance. Seeing the steady uptick in demand for competitive gaming, the leaders of XP League plan to sign 25 U.S. and Canadian franchise agreements by Dec. 31 of this year. 

Launched in 2020, the XP League brand is the first youth esports league franchise to bridge the gap between conventional athletics and competitive electronic gaming. “I was inspired to start XP League because my four children love gaming, and so do I,” says founder Jay Melamed.

XP League franchise business founder Jay Melamed
XP League founder Jay Melamed

The XP League franchise offers a nine-week seasonal program that includes one practice and one match per week. Each team has a positively-focused coach who emphasizes resiliency, collaboration, character-building and sportsmanship, in addition to gaming skills. During both game participation and coaching sessions, players also increase socialization, proficiency in strategic thinking, problem-solving capabilities, and STEM (integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics knowledge) acumen. 

XP League Franchise Momentum

This year the XP League franchise has raised its profile in a couple of major ways: 

  • First off, on June 25-26, when the XP League franchise hosted the North American Finals. This competition was the biggest in-person youth esports tournament to be held on the continent. 

    The top 48 XP League teams, coaches, league owners and families met up at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla., to host hundreds of players and spectators during this national tournament. More than 20 hours of the North American Finals were aired to 10,000 viewers via streaming platforms. 
  • A second milestone occurred in mid-October, the XP League franchise was awarded the STEM.org Accredited Experience Trustmark – the only esports franchise to achieve that certification. (STEM.org is a private research and credentialing organization that has worked with 2,000-plus schools and organizations for more than 20 years.)
     
    “The STEM.org accreditation boosts players’ and parents’ trust and confidence in XP League,” says Melamed, who now serves as brand president and CEO. “It validates the core format in our educational-based programming and our overall mission in empowering young players everywhere to build on their talents and become who they are destined to be.”

XP League Franchise Values

XP League Franchise Business
XP League players learn good sportsmanship and the power of teamwork. 

“Being the first esports franchise is really exciting,” Melamed says. “Our success with the franchise model and the recent tournament have let us share XP League’s unique benefits far and wide. It’s important to remember that XP League goes far beyond esports play in its programs. Our young players learn good sportsmanship and the power of teamwork, and these tools will stay with them forever.” 

As the company expands, XP League seeks franchisees who want to mold strong values in their youthful players and who also have a passion for positively influencing their communities. Franchisees don’t need to have in-depth knowledge of the multibillion-dollar esports industry, nor do they have to be expert esports players, Melamed says. He explains that the program provides coaching guides and that XP League’s tournaments are managed through the corporate office in Raleigh, N.C. 

Franchisees enjoy having the freedom to choose their hours, locations and league sizes so they can scale up their businesses at their own pace. The initial investment for a mobile franchise ranges from $58,200 to $152,760.  

Backed by Unleashed Brands

XP League was purchased by Unleashed Brands, a youth enrichment-focused umbrella franchise, in spring of 2022. Unleashed Brands was established to build a portfolio of innovative, profitable brands that help kids learn, play and grow. During the past decade, Unleashed Brands has demonstrated its expertise in scaling franchises that focus on service to families. Its mission is to impact kids’ lives by providing engaging, fun and inspiring experiences that help them reach their full potential. 

The Unleashed Brands portfolio includes Class 101, Snapology, The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts and Urban Air in addition to XP League, which already has more than 40 locations. For further information about owning an XP League franchise, visit franchise.xpleague.com.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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