NFT Sports

Campus Legends Partner With the University of Florida for NFT Collection

Paul “Bear” Bryant was one of the greatest coaches ever to walk the sidelines in college football history. When he and his wife moved to Tuscaloosa (home of the Alabama Crimson Tide), a local preacher was visiting. She remarked to him that they seem to take football seriously down here; it’s almost like a religion. The preacher allegedly responded matter of factly, “Oh no, it’s bigger than that.”

College Football is a way of life for millions of Americans. Their entire year dedicated to how will my team look this fall? 

And like it or not, one team is a good chunk of modern football’s foundation.

The University of Florida is a cornerstone of College Football. From the invention of Gatorade to Spurrier’s Fun and Gun offense. And in recent memory, Tim Tebow was the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy. They have always been innovators changing what afternoons in the fall look like both on and off the field. So it is only natural that they would be one of the first universities to adopt NFTs.

Speaking of Gainesville’s favorite son, Tim Tebow is chomping at the bit for Campus Legends.

Here is his video talking about Campus Legends first NFT drop.

What is Campus Legends?

Campus Legends is a socially driven community that blended two of my favorite things, college football, and NFTs. 

Their first collegiate partnership is with my alma mater, the University Of Florida. Which was announced just last week. The CEO Greg Simon put it best;

“Campus Legends will offer a truly groundbreaking and unique experience for the collector, the athlete, the school, and the college sports fan. We are thrilled that our very first partner is such an iconic brand in the University of Florida. Through this partnership, we will be able to bring the technology of blockchain and digital collectibles to connect Florida’s current and alumni athletes to fans and collectors all around the world. “

They are positioning themselves similar to what DraftKings is doing with their drops for big-name pros like Tom Brady and Tony Hawk. What separates them is they are trying to add a social network experience. So you’ll be able to participate in polls, talk to fans, trade and sell items and create that social connection about a shared passion. 

Right now the current drops are time-sensitive meant to be commemorative with gamedays. For example, just for signing up, I was able to get this gorgeous one for the game that just happened this past Saturday. Users will be able to collect NFTs only if they are users the day of and claim the drop. Fans will be able to have NFTs that act as a flex as they start to collect them in the secondary markets.

Current players can benefit from this platform and the new wave of tech thanks to the new NIL laws.


NIL stands for name, image, likeness. For years players have been barred from being paid or earning anything that was tied to their name, image, or likeness.

One former player was famously “kicked” from playing because he had a youtube channel.

He had to choose between earning on Youtube and playing for UCF. Campus Legends has a mission to help players past and present who missed out due to NCAA regulations. 

 Players past and present can now get a share of the revenue from secondary transactions from people on the app. Placing UF at the cutting edge of where technology and culture meet—giving the University a first movers advantage during this new transition period for college football.

This could very well create a domino effect where players can show off their highlights as an NFT.  NBA Top Shot has already shown us there is a market for player highlights packaged together and tradeable.

If you were to combine that with some of the crazy moments from college sports like the “heave to cleve”.

To quote the voice of the gators Mick Hubert. “OH MY”

NFT Sports

US Open Launches First NFT Initiative

The US Tennis Association announced today that the Open would be launching its first-ever NFT collection, intended to manifest a whole new world of fan engagement for the sport. From art projects to celebrity-backed collections, NFTs in 2021 have offered a unique world of community engagement never seen before. For the world of sports, these tokens foster a more dynamic and ongoing relationship between fans and their beloved athletes; the US Open’s tokens are available now.

“Enabling fans worldwide to engage with the US Open in the NFT space is an exciting step, because it offers a number of accessible, modern and in some cases extraordinary ways to interact with the event and its champions in an increasingly popular digital realm,” said Kirsten Corio, Managing Director, Ticketing and Digital Strategy, USTA.

The NFTs

The tokens available in the coming days will fall into a level system, providing collectors of all investment levels an opportunity to get involved.
USTA / VaynerNFT

  • The first level is comprised of an unlimited amount of tokens, featuring key US Open artwork. While mints are unlimited, the tokens will only be available during the main draw from August 30-September 12. There will then be another level of token available exclusively to in-person attendees of the 2021 US Open – a creative ‘virtual ticket stub’ – claimable for free on the day following their attendance.
USTA / VaynerNFT

  • There will also be an exclusive level of ‘Champion’ tokens, which will be limited in quantity and will feature trading cards of legendary US Open champions: Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick, Stan Smith, Venus Williams and Bob and Mike Bryan. For each of the Champions, there will be only 20 numbered ‘Legendary’ trading cards and one ‘Golden Ace’ available for bid with both U.S. dollars and Ethereum.
USTA / VaynerNFT

  • Finally, the highest-level ‘Golden Ace’ card will provide some crazy utility. Limited to one per Champion, this exclusive NFT will come with several once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the winning bidder, including: an opportunity to play tennis inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, a meet-and-greet with a tennis star at the US Open, their name engraved on the US Open grounds, courtside tickets to the 2022 US Open men’s or women’s singles championship, autographed memorabilia and a limited-edition US Open merchandise pack. Talk about bonuses.

NFTs are opening up a whole new world of opportunity for relationships between fans and their beloved sport. The US Open’s first NFT initiative is masterfully building on the growing trend—incorporating elements of sports card culture and the accessibility elements built in to many recent NFT drops—to bring the fans closer to the court.

NFT Sports

How Curtis McDowald and USA Fencing Took “CryptoPunks” to the Tokyo Olympics

When Curtis McDowald drew his épée at his first Olympics, he had already made history. There would be the hard-fought bouts to place him 24th overall, and later, 9th in the team event, where he and two teammates wore pink face masks to protest another teammate accused of sexual assault. But the moment the Jamaica, Queens native stepped onto the piste, he did so with CryptoPunk #9362 on all of his social media profiles, becoming the first Olympian to bring the iconic NFTs to the greatest stage in the world.

#Olympunks—which McDowald says is not a protest, but a demonstration of who he is and what he’s about—began when Joshua Doner, CEO of virtual NFT gallery platform Mynt.La, met McDowald through their mutual friend Spencer. Doner asked him if he’d set his profile picture to a CryptoPunk as an experiment in social capital during his Olympics run.

McDowald immediately understood. He made the change, and within hours, his Twitter followers soared—Gary Vaynerchuk among his new captive audience.

For McDowald, a CryptoPunk goes beyond pure novelty; it is digital identity. The act of wearing one is an expression of self, and brand, when many athletes at the Games have few avenues for self-promotion.

“Fencing, like many other Olympic sports, is really an amateur sport. And there aren’t many ways to bring value to your brand,” McDowald told ONE37pm.

He is referring to Rule 40 of the International Olympic Committee’s Charter, which restricts athletes from using their name, image or likeness in Olympic-branded advertising right before and during competition. Despite looser regulations in Tokyo, the by-law remains controversial, and athletes found violating the rule may still face punishment as harsh as being stripped of their medals.

McDowald, who removed even the cloth tags from his steel fencing mask to hide the name of his equipment sponsor, never worried that he’d broken the rule with Punk #9362. “You’re afraid of what you don’t understand,” he said. “What we were able to do with Josh is so above the IOC and their scope of thinking—this was a way to be ‘sponsored’ by Josh’s NFT and his community. That had never been done before.”

“Curtis couldn’t have taken any other brand with him. But he could point to his Punk and say, ‘hey, actually, that’s my identity.’ And that’s a powerful thing,” Doner added.

The six Olympians—among them, sabre fencer Dagmara “Daga” Wozniak—began sporting CryptoPunks after Doner matched them with Punk owners who answered an open call on Twitter. Punk #1629 had just finished a stint beside the Museum of Modern Art when its owner, AI collaborative artist Claire Silver, offered to lend it to Wozniak.

Days later, Silver cheered into an online stream as Wozniak battled her opponent in her third Olympic Games.

“She was injured twice, and just fought straight through it. And I love that tenacity,” Silver said. “It’s this new generation of prime athletes on the cutting edge of their fields. And I feel the same way about Punks, with regard to digital identity and NFTs.”

The overlap between expensive jpegs and Olympic fencers was unexpected, but far from unfathomable. For athletes like McDowald and Wozniak who compete in a sport where fancy salaries are all but satire, digital identity can be critical to one’s livelihood.

“If you do anything besides train and compete, people will tell you you’re distracting yourself,” McDowald said. “But the reality is that this allows me to continue what I’m doing. Me building my brand and having support from a very active community makes it much easier for me to compete.”

According to McDowald, the network effects of #Olympunks also stood in contrast to a deeper issue in traditional Olympics coverage. Despite the hashtag trending on Crypto Twitter, and announcements about each of the six fencer’s upcoming bouts, would-be viewers struggled to find broadcasts of the athletes. McDowald himself was no exception.

“When I wanted to watch my teammates,” McDowald said, “I actually called my friend and they FaceTimed me—that’s how I was able to watch the matches.” He added, “This is the time where I’m going to have the biggest platform and the most marketability, and this is the hardest time for people to watch. It’s just kind of crazy.”

Now that Olympic fencing has ended, McDowald is back home in New York, where he resumes his 90-minute subway commute from Queens to Fencer’s Club in Midtown, Manhattan. But his Twitter feed remains an ode to sport and culture, himself included. There are his photos with fellow Olympians Kevin Durant, an investor in OpenSea who dabbles in basketball, and Slovenian hooper Luka Dončić. A GQ profile featuring a shirtless McDowald calls him an “electric presence” turning the fencing world on its head. And then there are the tweets and retweets about the various CryptoPunks who went to Tokyo—lots of them.

Perhaps most striking of all is his newest profile picture from today, which features the same Punk #9362, this time wearing a pink face mask.

It’s a lot to take in for the average Twitter user, or even the fencing fanatic, but if you can make it to his first tweet from April 14, it all starts to make sense. It reads, “You know us as athletes. We’re so much more. We are artists, activists, dreamers, and doers.”

“And we are unstoppable.”

NFT Sports

WAX Partners with Christina Jansen For A New Muhammad Ali NFT Collection

We have some exciting news coming out of the NFT world today. WAX is partnering with world-renowned photographer Christina Jansen and Dublin-based NFT agency, to bring to life the Muhammad Ali Series 1 digital collection, a 136 unique digital collection that will highlight Muhammad Ali. The collection will be available on WAX blockchain starting on August 10, 2021, at 1 pm EST /10 am PST and will showcase some of Ali’s personal and storied moments through his incredible life and 21-year professional career. 

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

As you all know, Ali had a brilliant career and established himself as one of the best professional athletes of all time. Throughout his iconic 21-year professional career, Ali was unconventional and incredible for the world to watch. He was an Olympic gold medalist, accumulated 56 victories, and was the first boxer in history to claim the heavyweight championship belt three times. During this time, Ali first connected with Jansen in 1986, meeting at a commercial shoot at Fulham Studios. The two formed an instant bond with Ali, recognizing each other’s respective talents and Jansen admiring Ali’s humble nature. Since her encounter with Ali, Jansen has photographed celebrities, athletes, and fashion icons.

“Photographing Muhammad Ali was one of the most inspiring jobs I have ever had . Over a period of two weeks on and off the set I witnessed how he treated everyone who approached him the same. It didn’t matter to Ali where you came from or what you did . I felt so blessed to have the chance to talk to him and get to know this great man like a close friend.  Ali told me his Philosophy in life “ If you reach for the moon you might end up next door, but if you reach for the stars you will get to the moon’. He encouraged me and others to reach for their goals and not be afraid to take risks in life.”

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

Since his passing in 2016, Ali’s life and love for mentoring others will be revealed through Jansen’s intimate, never-before-seen photographs for fans to collect and enjoy as digital collectibles on the WAX Blockchain. In her very first WAX collection, Jansen will offer the proceeds of an extremely special “Boxing Futures” pack featuring a single, ultra-rare Muhammad Ali digital photograph to aid Boxing Futures, an organization that aims to help disadvantaged youth by providing a safe space for them to improve their physical and mental health through boxing all while learning to build relationships and find motivation.

Christina Jansen

Muhammad Ali had a gentleness outside the ring. He connected with everyone, especially children. He had a generous heart and a  great sense of humor and was constantly telling jokes.

Here are some additional details about the upcoming partnership:

The intimate photos of the boxing superstar will be available in six (6) ring-worthy rarities, including:

● Classic

● Negative

● Gallery

● Photographer

● Championship

● Behind the scenes

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

As a special thank you for their support of the collection, Championship card buyers will be automatically entered into a randomized drawing for a chance to claim one (1) of (3) unique physical prints.

“I took these photographs of the Greatest in 1986 in London. I have cherished these images but I have not shown them to the world thus far. I am so happy that using NFTs I can now share them with the old and new generation of fans. Keeping his unique spirit alive.”

There will be a “stress test” prior to the official launch day on August 9 at 1 pm EST / 10 am PST. Fans can sign-up through the official WAX Discord and will receive a free promo pack as a “thank you” for participating.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new updates in the meantime.

NFT Sports

DraftKings Takes a Swing at NFTs

Over the past few months, the entire world has been trying to wrap its head around NFTs. Projects like Axie Infinity have exploded onto the scene, challenging gamers, developers and every parent to expand their perception of what video games can be. With everyone from Epic Games to your grandma talking about NFTs, let’s talk about one company that’s diving in. Now a few companies have sprung up ready to take on the new applications and possibilities that NFTs have created. Some companies have different angles, different levels of interest, and some may even have products coming soon that’ll blow us away when they’re announced. 

There’s one that may take the crown for “Holy Crap This is Big” moment of Summer 2021. To borrow a big rumor from college sports: this is the NFT market equivalent of long-time BIG 12 members Texas and Oklahoma going to the South Eastern Conference. 

Enter DraftKings. 

THE DraftKings has recently announced its plans to have a marketplace centered around sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles. 

The US-based daily sports betting firm is a juggernaut in the daily fantasy sports industry. One can hardly watch a half-hour of ESPN without at least 2-3 Draftkings commercials appearing on screen. Besides boasting the status of being the official daily fantasy partner for the PGA, NFL, MLB and UFC, among others, they also rank #1 in terms of web traffic for the Fantasy Sports category.

They have over 760,000 visitors a day to their website—according to Alexa estimates—and that’s not even counting how much daily traffic their mobile app generates. Over the past 30 days, they have had over 200,000 downloads across their 3 biggest apps. 

Okay, you might be saying: “We get it, they get a lot of eyeballs, what makes their marketplace so cool?” 

They have inked a deal with the Tom Brady co-founded NFT project, Autograph, to have exclusive distribution for NFTS on their platform that feature some prominent stars in the world of sports. You might recognize a few of them.

Cold Hard Cash

While you can’t pay with paper money on the site, the NFT marketplace will offer something that seems like a no-brainer to its sports-obsessed American audience. The buying, reselling and trading on the platform will be conducted in USD. That means there will be no difficult onramp of trying to teach users how ETH works, gas fees and all the other headaches that come along with education on traditional crypto/NFT transfers. If you’re not getting excited about the potential of this, you may want to check your pulse. Imagine an NFT drop for big sports moments from Tom Brady’s career as millions of people chase the drop and try to resell it. Through Draftkings, this will be possible all while using money people already have in this ecosystem that they use for daily fantasy sports or have won from their tournaments.

The new Draftkings platform means that we will have an NFT Marketplace with the following: 

  • It will be housed on a website and app(s) with an existing user base of a million or more daily users. 
  • It will feature exclusive NFT distribution for top athletes like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods—among others. 
  • There will be a trading economy that is based on USD, so there’ll be no difficulty curve related to teaching users how gas fees and/or how ETH works.

They are aiming to go live later this summer as people are still learning this tech. 

I do not want to speculate too much as to what we can expect from the app, but I’m excited to see something that’s less niche than the standard NFT market has been in the past. I won’t go out on a limb and say that this is something that could rival the Axie Infinity market in terms of volume, however, I can only imagine what other products will have to be created to compete with something like this. 


NFT Sports

Arsenal Launches NFT Project to Expand Global Following

As professional sports get more involved in the NFT, Premier League giant Arsenal is the latest to announce a project in an effort to bring its global awareness to the forefront.

The Gunners and Chiliz have partnered on the project and are releasing the $AFC Fan Token on Socios. The two plan to utilize the tokens so that global supporters can engage in unique club opportunities, including interactive games that can earn fans unique experiences.

Arsenal has been in the public eye recently as the club expands its presence, most notably being named the latest team to appear on Amazon’s All or Nothing docu-series.

Socios is already home to a number of other football clubs around the world, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia, as well UFC and Roush Fenway.

My Arsenal Rewards members have the choice to receive a free $AFC Fan Token before the official launch date.

“Socios is leading the way in blockchain in the sports industry, as we have seen from their relationships with other leading European clubs,” Arsenal commercial director Peter Silverstone. “When we launch the $AFC Fan Tokens together, we will give our hundreds of millions of fans worldwide more opportunities to interact with the club and be a part of our global family.”

Chiliz served as one of the creators of Socios in an effort to make sports organizations more accessible and engaging for supporters on the blockchain.

Arsenal kicks off the 2021/22 Premier League season on Aug. 13 against Brentford.

NFT Sports

Justin Turner innovates All Star Voting Campaign with NFT’s

You may be hearing all about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) throughout the mainstream media, with celebrities, athletes, and influencers such as Snoop Dogg, Tony Hawk, Rob Gronkowski, GaryVee, UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, and the rock band “Kings of Leon” recently minting their own tokens and joining the craze.

For those who are unfamiliar with NFTs, they are minted on the blockchain and prove unique ownership over things such as art and music, thanks to identifying information recorded in smart contracts.

For further explanation as to exactly what an NFT is, check out this guide.

The latest athlete to jump in to the space is Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who made this announcement via twitter:

For those who are interested in the NFT space but have not purchased one yet, this can an extremely fun and interesting way to educate yourself on how it all works at no-cost. If you already own a few NFTs, what better way to add to your collection?

The Case for Justin Turner
Getty Images

What’s really cool about this NFT project is that Turner actually deserves to make the team and you can help him get there!

He last played in an All-Star game during the 2017 season in which he batted .322 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs, later taking home the NLCS MVP on the way to the World Series.

In 2018, he battled injuries in the first half of the season, but won National League Player of the Month in August after batting .402 with 6 home runs and 24 RBIs for the month. In his 202 at bats after the All-Star break, Turner batted .356, and got even hotter in the playoffs, reaching base in 9 of his 18 plate appearances in the NLDS and batting .333 (8 for 24) in the World Series.

During last year’s covid-shortened season, the Dodgers won the World Series and Turner was a major part of the reason why, mashing 8 hits in 25 at-bats against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Fall Classic, including two home runs.

This season, he is batting .282 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs, and is currently sitting in third in the All-Star voting behind the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado. The top three third baseman in the voting will make the team, but Turner is less than 10,000 votes ahead of San Diego Padres’ third baseman Manny Machado for the final spot, so go vote for Justin and earn that NFT!

Step 1: Vote For Turner!

What makes Turner’s token so unique is that there is absolutely no cost except for a few minutes of your time. As he explained in the tweet, all you have to do is click this link and vote for him to represent the National League in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

Step 2: Share your Vote!

Once you have completed the ballot, you will have an option to tweet your vote by clicking the twitter icon.

Step 3: Follow the JT Foundation!
Twitter @JTFoundation10

After sharing the vote, simply follow @JTFoundation10 on Twitter and you will receive a DM with a unique link to claim your NFT after the voting period ends on Thursday, June 24th.

NFT Sports

NFTs and Injuries, Lamelo Ball Wins Rookie of the Year

They say “Pikachu can’t tear his ACL.” It is what separates non-sports assets and sports assets. When investing in the sports NFT world, you are banking on a player’s health. 

You look at the last week in the NBA and the playoffs have been decimated by injuries to some of the league’s biggest stars. 

Predicting injuries is impossible. But factoring in this concept of, “what if this player tore their ACL? How would it impact their career?” can be incredibly important in deciding where you want to invest your money in the NFT landscape.

With the Kawhi Leonard news, it’s incredibly disappointing, but most likely, it won’t impact his career arc. Can this be said for some of the younger players who have yet to establish that tenure in the league. 

Even the rookie of the year, Lamelo Ball was dinged up for a small portion of the season. It almost cost him the rookie of the year. 

Speaking of Lamelo, the youngest Ball brother dropped an NFT collection a few weeks ago. And with him winning the prized accolade, it will be included in his NFT series.

Investing in players’ whose careers are already somewhat established can keep you safe from the always possible threat of injuries. 

And if you want to completely avoid the threat of injuries, you can always look to non-sports related NFTs. 

Whether it be a meme, digital art, and digital horses. 

There are risks in other NFTs. An artist can be canceled for things they say. Artist’s careers are not guaranteed either. Decentraland could become the preferred landscape of the metaverse over Sandbox. All of these could impact the value of a non-sports NFT.

I’m not saying that there is necessarily a better NFT group to be invested in. I just want people to understand the importance of weighing all of these different factors that go into it. 

NFT Sports

PFL and Fanaply Team Up on First MMA Organization NFTs

Numerous sports and other industries have gotten in on the NFT hype in the past few months, but today, the PFL became the first MMA organization to launch its own line of digital tokens. Hot off last night’s incredible fight between Claressa Shields and Brittney Elkin, the organization has launched a series of tokens which will each be available for 7 days following their corresponding events. The NFTs will consist of one-of-a-kind moments in two separate NFT products: first, “debut moments” which represent the first time a PFL fighter competed for the PFL (which launched today for Clarissa Shields), and second, “championship moments” which present the winner of each weight class in the 2021 PFL Season.

Each NFT is made up of 30 seconds of video, plus a signed pair of PFL MMA gloves with a personalized inscription.

The first PFL “debut moment” NFT is Claressa Shields’ MMA debut from last night’s fight. Shields’ appearance was arguably the most highly anticipated MMA debut in history and her NFT is available right now at Fanaply.

The second “debut moment” token will correspond with Rory MacDonald’s next fight, dropping three days prior to his next Regular Season fight on June 17. The Rory MacDonald NFT will feature his PFL debut fight on April 29, 2021, which was a first-round submission win.

The third and final “debut moment” NFT features PFL rising superstar Kayla Harrison. The Harrison NFT will showcase moments from her victorious PFL fight debut on June 21, 2018 and will drop three days prior to her June 25, 2021 matchup.
PFL x Fanaply

As a newer league in the space, PFL has already made it very clear that they are prioritizing innovation as a fighting organization. In the org’s press release, CEO Peter Murray said: “PFL is all about innovation for MMA‘s 550 million global fans, and today, we mark another first in the sport with our NFT launches,“ adding: “Claressa, Rory and Kayla have achieved tremendous success throughout their careers and three lucky collectors will now be able to make history of their own when the debut PFL NFTs drop this month.”

For more info on this drop, check out PFL on their social channels and view the NFTs themselves on Fanaply.

NFT Sports

NFTs Are NOT Dead, According to Jack Settleman

I Promise… NFT’s Are Not Dead

I’m not sure people understand how early on we are in this NFT movement. 

The total Top Shot market cap is at 605 million dollars. 

At one point, it was over a billion dollars, so naturally, people are showing concern.

Did I mention that we are early?

Clearly, the public perception is that NFT’s are dead. But I am here to tell you they are not. We are seeing a pullback. We are seeing similar reactions to the era, where 99 percent of websites failed. But the one percent that survived (Amazon, Google) became monsters. 

Quick reminder, we are early. 

What is important is that NFT’s, celebrity cash grabs are gone… which we’ve been saying. But the tech of NFT’s is going to be the thing of the next decade. As of now, all people know are the youtube clips they are watching. But we are still so early, people don’t understand what this wave can be.

The general idea from Top Shot fans is that it re-engaged them with the NBA. Who captures your attention? That is what matters. The MLB does a terrible job with it. The UFC is making a Dapper Labs product… and is asking you to pay for the viewing experience and give them your time. With the NFL, they own Sunday and Monday… but even our generation watches RedZone. Once again, the tech and utility of NFT’s are an attention and engagement capture. 

Over the next decade, the competition will be over people’s time and attention. 

To finalize things, we are super early in this. It could be five years before we see the fruits of NFT technology.