NBA 2K League, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) esports venture, has named Jeremy Haber as its first chief operating officer.

Haber, who joins the league after 11 seasons with the Chicago White Sox of baseball’s MLB, will begin this new role in February and will report to Andrew Perlmutter, who himself was only appointed as the organization’s first chief executive in late September.

He will, the NBA has said, “play a critical role in defining the league’s long-term growth strategy and in executing top priorities.”

These will include working on the relationships with the NBA on one hand and also with the 2K Games organization.

The league, that began in 2018, is a joint-venture partnership between the NBA and video-game company Take-Two Interactive, which makes the NBA 2K series of licensed basketball games that the esports league uses.

Haber has now said: “With talented players, engaged teams, and devoted fans, the NBA 2K League is at the forefront of esports competition. I am so excited to join Andrew and this passionate community and immediately begin our work on the NBA 2K League’s next chapter.”

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Perlmutter added: “From identifying new competitive opportunities to crafting and implementing long-term strategy, he brings expertise in building sports businesses through innovation, analytics, and technology that will benefit the league for many years to come.”

During his time at the White Sox – the last nine years of which was spent as assistant general manager – Haber was the lead negotiator “for over $250 million in player contracts,” the NBA has said.

He was also involved in the day-to-day management of the baseball operations department.

In September, the NBA 2K League announced a significant partnership with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) for the promotion of the esports competition.

The partnership, which the NBA has called ground-breaking, will see NBPA players working to promote the 2K competition and its 25 teams, the majority of which are esports affiliates of active NBA franchises. NBA players will appear at 2K League promotional events, as well as on 2K League broadcasts, among other potential activities.

In June, meanwhile, the NBA 2K league partnered with FIBA, the international basketball governing body, in a deal that will see the creation of a global esports calendar across national team basketball.