CIAA Partners with Metro Esports to Foster Educational & Career Opportunities within Esports & Gaming

Philadelphia, PA – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the nation’s oldest historically black athletic conference, has partnered with Metro Esports, a Philadelphia-based minority-owned esports production company that operates a multi-use gaming and educational facility for students within the region, to develop opportunities focused on growing minority representation within esports and gaming through educational programming and career development.

Founded by veteran sporting event producer Shaon Berry, Metro Esports offers STEM certification programs at their 7,000-square foot gaming and technology center and will leverage on-going partnerships with industry giants like Logitech and Comcast to create unique programming for students from CIAA member institutions.

“We are beyond excited to partner with the CIAA to build custom on & off-campus programs, recruiting events, and gaming experiences designed specifically to benefit prospective HBCU students, those currently enrolled and national alumni,” said Berry. “According to industry reports, the tech industry is woefully lacking in black and brown engagement on the production and creative side of the business with only about 4 percent working behind the scenes, despite the 75 percent consider themselves gamers. Our first event, a national combine for potential pro gamers taking place in Philadelphia on August 21, along with partnerships like this one with the CIAA is part of the effort to help change that narrative.”

Launching a diverse co-ed team of professional gamers called ‘The Metro-Squad’, Metro will work with the conference to identify gaming and other career opportunities for current students and recent graduates within their pro team structure. Metro will also offer up a select number of internships and job opportunities to CIAA students at their gaming and tech facility as well as through their production team.

“Partnering with Metro Esports is an exciting opportunity that allows us to provide additional career and educational resources within esports and gaming to our students and membership,” said Ben Baxter, CIAA Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications and External Partnerships. “Our goal is to continue building an ecosystem that provides minority students and alumni with access and opportunity to an ever-growing industry where minority representation in the career talent pool is severely lacking.”

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