JT Batson has been named as the new CEO / Secretary General of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Batson, who has a long history in grassroots football in America, succeeds Will Wilson and will start in his role immediately. Wilson, who made the decision to step down earlier this year, will stay on with U.S. Soccer through October to assist in the transition.
Batson has been a dedicated adherent of soccer from a young age, having played club soccer for Augusta Arsenal whilst growing up in Georgia and later helping run the club while serving as a referee and a referee assignor, mowing and lining fields and working in coaching recruitment. He has coached boys and girls at the grassroots level and has been active in supporting his childhood soccer club as a member of the Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club advisory board.
“JT is uniquely qualified for this position as a person who has vast experience working with large, complex organizations as well as an understanding of the intricate workings of modern business,” U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement.
“He also has a passion for soccer born out playing and growing up in a generation that saw a massive growth of the sport in the United States. His energy, leadership, creative thinking and personal connection to seeing U.S. Soccer and the sport thrive will be a huge positive for the future of our Federation overall.”
A long-time member of the soccer community, he feels his experience in grassroots soccer helped shape who he is today: an executive who prides himself on doing the work necessary to achieve goals and create important bonds with employees and partners while also teaching and mentoring.
Batson has spent his professional career at the intersection of media, advertising and technology, focused on solving challenging problems at scale through innovation and collaboration. The first software Batson ever worked on was for the assignment of youth soccer referees for tournament organizers. He also paid for college, in part, by working soccer camps.
“It’s an honour and a big responsibility to take on this position with U.S. Soccer, and I’m really looking forward to working with Cindy, our Board, our senior leadership, our players, coaches and referees, and all of our employees, partners and membership across the American soccer landscape,” Batson said via press release.
“I’m a big believer in the power of teamwork and collaboration, and during this historic time for soccer in the USA, that will be vitally important as we continue drive the Federation forward to even greater heights.”
A former member of U.S. Soccer Finance Committee, Batson comes to the Federation with experience heading large companies. He previously served as CEO of Hudson MX, a 425-person NYC- and Atlanta-based software company, which he co-founded and where he will remain a member of the board, that focuses on workflow and financial software for the advertising ecosystem.
His previous work with U.S. Soccer led to him helping spearhead the creation of the U.S. Soccer Development Fund which raises money to support U.S. Soccer’s development of world-class players, coaches and referees, all with the goal of continuing to inspire a nation.
Prior to founding Hudson MX, he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Greylock Partners and Accel Partners.
Batson began his career as an early employee of Mozilla focused on international growth efforts of the then-nascent Firefox browser. He subsequently joined the Rubicon Project pre-revenue where he helped scale the company to six countries as the EVP, Revenue and Global Development. He’s also served in executive roles at Mediaocean and Cumulus Media.
As an undergrad at Stanford, Batson worked with the Stanford men’s and women’s soccer programs as a student assistant focused on recruiting, soccer operations, marketing, camps and fundraising. The Stanford men’s basketball teams took notice, and he also worked with that program, building a recruiting CRM system and managing dynamic ticket process and fan development. He also continued to referee during his college years, experiences that included running the middle during several scrimmages for the local professional teams.
Batson is a member of the board of the LGBTQ+ entrepreneur focused non-profit StartOut. He also serves on the board of directors for the NYC Ballet. Batson has guest taught at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design and the Graduate School of Business.