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How College Sports NFTs Could Deliver Financial Freedom to Amateur Athletes

Image of Ben Plomion
Ben Plomion
The interior of Autzen Stadium at sunset

NFTs can help college athletes earn from their accolades

The NCAA made $1.15 billion in revenue during 2021, showing just how ingrained college sports is into our culture. While that’s a formidable chunk of change, college athletes couldn’t claim a piece of the pie for years, despite creating most of the value. Luckily, the NCAA has changed its rules, and college athletes can pursue financial freedom through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals.

For an internet-savvy generation of budding pros, college sports NFTs may be a desirable place to start earning, thanks to their capacity to create long-term returns. Here’s how college sports NFTs work, how they can help your financial future, and how you can start creating your own.

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How NCAA Rules Have Changed

Why College Athletes Should Sell NFTs

Which College Athletes NFTs Already Exist?

Luka Garza

Blake Corum

Division Street

Best College Sports NFTs Marketplaces

Draftly

The Players’ Lounge

Dibbs

How NCAA Rules Have Changed

Revising the rules wasn’t the NCAA’s plan, but growing pressure from state legislatures pushed the organization to change. On July 1, 2021, NCAA athletes got the green light to monetize their image and sign brand deals. The effect was immediate. Just minutes after the clock struck twelve, Fresno State basketball players Hanna and Haley Cavinder signed deals with Boost Mobile. Other deals, sometimes worth millions, have poured in from all manner of brands. The result is a far brighter outlook for college athletes of every background, laying a solid foundation for negotiating other, more significant deals later in their careers.

While signing with a big name brand is great for publicity, headline-making brand deals aren’t the only way college athletes can monetize their image. With the internet at the edge of a new era driven by NFTs, the opportunities for financial growth are practically limitless.

Why College Athletes Should Sell NFTs

College sports NFTs offer student-athletes another option for financial gain with the potential for long-term results. NFTs can be digital sports cards, collectible-backed, or fall between those lines. They mark a new epoch of memorabilia, which will be an integral part of the next generation of the internet.

One of the main benefits of NFTs is that they pay royalties to the creator every time they’re sold on the secondary market. For instance, if an athlete sells an NFT to a fan, and that fan sells it to someone else, the athlete will earn a percentage of that sale — and any subsequent sales — as a royalty.  

The ability to earn income passively means that NFTs have a low time commitment. Players can pursue other deals while they earn income from their NFT projects, or focus on improving their game. NFTs don’t need to be a complete financial portfolio, but they can be a big piece of the pie.

Collectible-backed NFTs have become a prime example of how athletes can use their brand to connect with their fans and create long-term wealth. College athletes can leverage signed jerseys, hats, balls, or any other type of memorabilia to create a collectible-backed NFT that, depending on the service they choose to use, is vaulted and insured for protection. If you want a complete breakdown of the process, inquire about how partnerships with Dibbs work.

Which College Sports NFTs Already Exist?

Some athletes have already created college sports NFT projects and been successful in doing so. Here are a few players and organizations that have launched NFT projects:

Luka Garza

Former Iowa Hawkeye basketball player Luka Garza, who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA, dropped his first NFT shortly after his college career ended. The NFT ultimately sold for $41,141, with Garza donating a portion of the proceeds to Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Blake Corum

University of Michigan’s Blake Corum has had an impressive career as a running back and is even a contender for the coveted Heisman Trophy. His NFT launch also means he was among the first players to benefit from a NIL deal.

Division Street

The University of Oregon’s Division Street is an NFT project designed to help U of O’s student-athletes leverage technology and learn about NIL marketing opportunities. The project pools together experience from marketers and business people, including Nike co-founder Phil Knight, to help athletes create NFTs and generate revenue streams.

Best College Sports NFTs Marketplaces

If you create a college sports NFT, you’ll need a place to sell it. Many platforms exist to achieve that goal, but these are some top choices.

Draftly

Draftly is primarily geared towards creating communities around college athletes and the schools they attend, seeing college sports as part of the public good. Draftly has you create a clubhouse that forms the core of your community. Purchasing an NFT grants access to your clubhouse, which features community discussions and player Q&As.

The Players’ Lounge

The Players’ Lounge is also a community-driven platform, though it’s geared towards providing real-world experiences in addition to forum discussions. For instance, an NFT’s VIP tier might include dinner with a star athlete.

Dibbs

Dibbs is an all-star option for college athletes who want to turn their memorabilia into collectible-backed NFTs, helping them earn money from jerseys, merchandise, and more. Each item is stored in a secure, insured vault, providing the peace of mind you want for your assets. Plus, you’ll earn royalty payments every time the NFT is traded, making it a long-term revenue stream.

No matter how you decide to sell your NFTs, they have a lot of potential to help build a robust financial portfolio. They’re capable of long-term gains without being a long-term commitment and a crucial building block for Web3, the next era of the internet. Being equally passionate about technology and sports is crucial, though. Dibbs has the expertise in both NFTs and sports fanaticism to help you succeed with any NFT projects you create. Partner with Dibbs today to see how you can take your image to the next level.


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