When NFTs began their ascent into today’s culture, many sports fans envisioned them as a next-generation model of traditional trading cards. Many platforms have since launched with that archetype in mind.
This idea is about to enter the high school and college sports sphere. VerifiedInk announced Friday the upcoming launch of its marketplace that will allow athletes to design and sell NFTs and keep 94% of the profits.
The kickoff, scheduled for July 19, will be headlined by an NFT designed by the No. 1 boys basketball prospect in the class of 2024, Naasir Cunningham. The shooting guard is one of more than 500 high school and collegiate athletes who are part of the platform, according to a press release from VerifiedInk.
The company’s co-founder and co-CEO Nate Slutzky said that the emergence of NIL allowances allowed this NFT plan to grow.
“NIL rule changes have unlocked opportunities for pre-professional athletes to begin sharing in the profits of the multi-billion-dollar sports that they fuel,” Slutzky said in a statement. “But the brands licensing athletes’ NIL seize on opportunities to capitalize on young athletes trying to navigate a new and uncertain landscape. VerfiedInk empowers athletes to own their brands in perpetuity.”
VerifiedInk raised a seed round of $1.2 million led by the Sixers Innovation Lab headquartered in New Jersey, according to the press release.