While the debate on compensating college athletes has raged for decades, BallerTV looks at utilizing NFTs as a method for student athletes to benefit from.
BallerTV, a streaming service that provides access to youth sports games, is taking a big step toward bringing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sports together. While there have been many athletes and teams that have released NFTs this will be the first to offer high school players a chance to earn money via sales. BallerTV will offer HS athletes the ability to monetize their likeness by selling NFTs.
The BallerTV x Pangos NFT will feature highlights from the 2021 Pangos All-American Camp that ended yesterday. The camp is a well-recognized showcase for the top 120 high school basketball players in the country and has many NBA MVPs as part of its alumni.
The limited-edition digital collection will consist of the best 30 players at the camp. Those players will be featured in a special All-Star game and each will have an NFT minted that includes on-court footage of their performance.
50% of the profits from the sale will be given to the participants at the time of their high school graduation, with the other half going to BallerTV. The players will also be given the option to donate their profits to the school or a charity of their choice.
The option is there to give players an ‘out’ if they are concerned about future college eligibility within a certain state. Worth noting that five states recently passed legislation that gives NCAA athletes the right to benefit from their name, image, and likeness.
Young athletes benefit
In the press release, BallerTV CTO Kavodel Ohiomoba said: “As a technologist for almost two decades and life-long sports fanatic, nothing has given me more satisfaction than leveraging technology to provide a solution to the archaic problem of helping youth athletes benefit from their likeness. Our goal is to have BallerTV NFTs become the new rookie card.”
Ohiomoba, who also spearheaded the NFT project, went on to state: “these NFTs will give collectors and young athletes the opportunity to capture the first moments of what could very well be storied NBA and professional careers.”
College athletes looking to NFTs for alternative income
Despite the world of college sports taking small steps to compensate their student-athletes, the fact is the move should have happened decades ago. Now, with the rise of NFTs, a number of savvy college athletes have seen them as a way to market themselves and make some money doing it.
Perhaps the best know example of this is Luke Garza. Garza, who was an economics major at Iowa, launched an NFT collection earlier this year after his four years at school. Not only did he auction off NFT art, but he also awarded the winning bidder a chance to play a game of HORSE as well as go to dinner and meditate with Garza.
Portions of the sale went to the University’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital. While the move happened right after Garza’s playing career with Iowa ended, he has yet to go pro either. And, Garza is not some scrub who was looking to make some noise before the draft with this move. Garza was the consensus national college player of the year in 2021.
Much like BallerTV, Garza made his intentions for the sale very clear. “I stand with the changing times, and I think this is something that could pave the way maybe for college athletes in the future to be able to do this and make money off their name, image and likeness through something like an NFT.”