Big Sean, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Children’s Foundation and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins among industry heavyweights investing $1.5 Million in Boys & Girls Clubs workforce and entrepreneur development program


  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan announces 3rd Industry Club to strengthen career and entrepreneur pipeline for youth in sports, esports and entertainment industry.
  • $1.5M investment includes the buildout of the second Sean Anderson Foundation Music Studio in Detroit, MI and the Ninja Esports Lounge in Auburn Hills, MI.
  • Youth are paid $10-$13 per hr. to explore careers in sports, entertainment, gaming and tech entrepreneurship.
  • Industry heavyweights and early adopters include the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Children’s Foundation, Tyler ‘’Ninja’’ Blevins and the Blevins Charitable Fund, Big Sean and the Sean Anderson Foundation, and the Wayne County Commission.


DETROIT – July 30, 2021 This fall, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) will open its third Industry Club, which will provide paid workforce experience for young people interested in pursuing a career in in the sports, esports and entertainment industries. The Industry Club will employ nearly 200 Detroit youth each year, ages 14 and up.

BGCSM is the first Boys & Girls Clubs location in the nation to provide the Industry Club model for youth and entrepreneurs. During the announcement BGCSM will unveil its signature 21st Century Athlete collection designed by the current Fashion and Merchandising Industry Club cohort, which will be co-branded with Foot Locker. Collection speaks to how all Industry Clubs collaborate and empower one another.

“We’re excited to offer the sports and entertainment industry club which will be a game changer for the youth of metro Detroit,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM. “Together with our dynamic industry partners we will have a collective impact which will help break the poverty cycle for many of the youth we serve.”

Industry Club Initiative aligns with BGCSM’s efforts to address poverty through economic mobility and continue to have a positive community impact and advancement for youth and their families. A fourth Industry Club is scheduled to be announced later this year.


Detroit Pistons continues support of youth development on and off the cour

The Detroit Pistons will continue their long-term partnership financial commitments provided by Mr. Gores, Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem and the Detroit Pistons Foundation to support the Industry Club program. It includes a $300,000 grant over the course of three years and will focus on providing workforce experience for young people interested in in pursuing a career in the sports, esports and entertainment industry.

As part of the partnership and donation, 50 BGCSM Club youth with have an opportunity to participate in the Pistons official draft pick press announcement on-site at the Pistons Practice Facility.


Detroit Red Wings team up with The Children’s Foundation to deliver year-round programming

As part of their landmark Learn, Play, Score program, the Detroit Red Wings are teaming up with The Children’s Foundation and BGCSM to introduce Esports + Hockey. The program will provide year-round hockey connectivity for young BGCSM members across metro Detroit through hands-on learning experiences, esports engagement and workforce development. Additional details about this program will be announced later.

“The Red Wings are excited to continue growing the impact of Learn, Play, Score in the city of Detroit through the Esports + Hockey program with The Children’s Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan,” said Kevin Brown, director of community impact for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. “We can’t wait to announce the details of this groundbreaking, year-round interactive program soon.”


Tyler ‘‘Ninja‘‘ Blevins & Blevins Charitable Fund enhances esports in Detroit

Michigan native, entrepreneur and professional gamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, will sponsor the Ninja Esports Lounge at the Matilda R. Wilson Boys & Girls Clubs location in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Industry Club space will become a world-class hub for youth to discover and develop their passion for esports while getting paid to explore careers and content monetization strategies as entrepreneurs.

“As someone who grew up around Detroit, I’m so excited to be a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan’s new Sports and Entertainment Industry Club,” said Tyler Blevins. “Gaming has obviously impacted my life, and now I get to support youth coming to the Club that are interested in gaming or in exploring the many different career pathways the industry has to offer. I hope they’re inspired to dream big, knowing they have the tools they need to help make their dreams a reality.”

Construction for the Esports lounge is planned to begin early August and be completed in October 2021.


Sean Anderson Foundation 2nd production studio location

Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF), founded by national recording artist and Detroit-native Big Sean and his mother Myra Anderson, have been active early adopters of the BGCSM Reimagine initiative. The foundation donated in 2019 for the first SAF Production Studio which opened its doors within the Dick & Sandy Dauch Club on Detroit’s west side. Since opening, the studio has served nearly 1,500 youth. The 2nd SAF Production Studio will be housed inside the Lloyd H. Diehl Club.

“Sean and I are excited to be able to support the opening of the second Sean Anderson Foundation Production Studio for the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan,” said Myra Anderson, Executive Director and President, Sean Anderson Foundation. “The Studio is an opportunity to expose youth, not only to the inner workings of the music industry, but to also assist them in their emotional, mental, and spiritual development.”

The Industry Club announcement day activities include an outdoor field day event for youth and adults, fireside chats, and collection fashion show hosted at Foot Locker Detroit in Eastpointe, MI. Exclusive Collection will be sold at the Foot Locker Detroit location (17755 E 8 Mile Rd, Eastpointe, MI 48021) on Saturday, July 31st and sold in-store and online at


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan  

Founded in 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) has over 95 years of experience serving youth ages 6-18 by providing a safe, fun place that inspires, while offering high quality programs that provide real-world learning from caring adult mentors. Serving nearly 21,000 youth, families and entrepreneurs annually in Clubs throughout southeastern Michigan, BGCSM works every day to provide a world-class experience, empowering youth to become change agents through economic mobility. By providing high quality youth development programs, BGCSM has reimagined the future of afterschool learning and continues to stay agile and expand to better support the needs of our changing youth, ensuring that they are career, start-up and homeowner ready. To learn more about BGCSM visit and follow us on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!


About Detroit Pistons

Since their arrival in 1957, the Detroit Pistons have become one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. With over 2,300 regular-season and playoff victories, the club has celebrated three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five NBA Finals appearances (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005) and 11 Eastern Conference Finals appearances.  In October 2019, the club opened the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center located in the New Center area, a campus that serves as the organization’s practice facility and corporate headquarters. Since its purchase by Michigan native Tom Gores in 2011, the organization has focused on operating as a community asset while promoting a culture of innovation and industry-leading thought.

About the NBA Foundation:

Created in August 2020 to reduce the persistent racial wealth gap, the NBA Foundation is the league’s first-ever charitable foundation dedicated to driving economic opportunity for Black youth. The Foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities.

About Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings hockey club, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and 11-time Stanley Cup Champion, was purchased by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1982. Under Ilitch ownership, the team has won four Stanley Cup championships, six Presidents’ Trophies as the NHL’s regular season champion, and 16 division titles. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development of Michigan, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., MotorCity Casino Hotel and Champion Foods. The Ilitch Companies also maintain a joint venture interest in 313 Presents. For more information, visit

About The Children’s Foundation

The Children’s Foundation is a premier foundation focused on the health and well-being of the children of Michigan and their families by working in collaboration with other organizations in the community.  By listening to community needs, The Foundation responds by mobilizing and enhancing resources through innovative partnerships and funding models. Since 2011, the Foundation has distributed more than 70 million dollars in grant funding to more than 130 partners throughout the state. Current initiatives of The Children’s Foundation include Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation, First Tee- Greater Detroit and the Paul W. Smith Charities. Current areas of focus for the Foundation include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse and neglect, oncology and cardiology research and injury prevention. Learn more at





Scroll to Top