LEXINGTON, Ky. — University of Kentucky head basketball coach and eleven Wildcats players have signed a new, exclusive NIL deal with Mercury for NFT digital collectibles.
The platform, called UK Blue Chips, will host a dynamic marketplace to collect, buy and trade official digital collectibles from across the eight-time NCAA champs including Coach Calipari and star players including Dontaie Allen, Sahvir Wheeler, Kellan Grady, Jacob Toppin, Keion Brooks, Lance Ware, Bryce Hopkins, CJ Frederick, Daimion Collins, Davion Mintz and Ty Ty Washington.
“I am excited to enter the digital collectibles space with Mercury and especially pleased at the chance this presents for me to connect with our fans,” said Coach Calipari. “This is a unique opportunity to create collectibles that resonate with Big Blue Nation and the very folks who make this community so special.”
Mercury will curate exclusive NFT's designed for both experienced collectors and all UK fans alike. UKbluechips.io will be a platform allowing users to easily purchase with standard payment methods in addition to crypto currency. Early registrants will receive a free NFT for signing up.
The players are excited to be getting into this new form of collectibles. “I’ve been fascinated with NFTs and truly believe they’ll play a big part in the future of sports and entertainment," said UK guard Davion Mintz. "I look forward to shaping my image, working directly on the design and branding, and hopefully developing collectibles that empower others.”
Mercury made the announcement in conjunction with G3 Marketing, a leader in uniting sports fans and brands through unforgettable experiences. An additional benefit of the partnership is that G3 will be creating events that provide fans unparalleled access to these players and their coach.
Mercury allows leagues, teams, and athletes to enhance and expand the fan experience through digital collectibles. Mercury provides an end-to-end NFT solution for its partners, assisting their brands in participating in the future of collectibles and fan engagement seamlessly and authentically. Last month, Mercury announced a long-term partnership with Impossible Brief, the London-based multi-disciplinary design and production studio that has created NFTs for a number of notable athletes including Patrick Mahomes, Lionel Messi, Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Alex Ovechkin. More information is available at www.mercurynft.io.
UK Blue Chips (@ukbluechips) early access opens today at ukbluechips.io. The first drop on the platform will coincide with Kentucky’s game against Ohio State on December 18th.