While the crypto market is tumbling, the sports world is still launching new digital assets. In this week’s NFT roundup, Syracuse and Oregon announce firsts in the NFT space, the National Basketball Retired Players Association strikes a deal to offer collectibles, there’s a launch by former NFL running back Edgerrin James and Magic Johnson makes a big investment.
Syracuse becomes the first school with athlete NFTs
Syracuse University announced a multiyear partnership with Fantastec SWAP, the first of its kind in the NCAA, that will provide the creation of NFTs that feature its athletes’ likeness and Syracuse marks and logos.
“We are thrilled that our student-athletes will benefit from their likeness in conjunction with the Block S,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said in a release. “… As the first NCAA program to collaborate with Fantastec SWAP, our student-athletes have another unique opportunity to expand their name, image and likeness portfolio and engage with our fans in a new and innovative way.”
ARIA signs partnership with the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The NBRP has signed an exclusive five-year partnership with ARIA to offer highly collectible NFTs for almost 1,500 NBA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters legends.
I’m excited to announce that I signed an exclusive partnership with the @theARIAExchange. Launching this Summer, the #ARIAExchange is an innovative, #Web3 platform where sports fans become curators by unlocking rare collectible NFTs and untold stories from their favorite players. pic.twitter.com/2fWdDVMJCF
The first set of digital collectibles is expected this summer and will feature the likes of Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bill Russell, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Dominique Wilkins.
Oregon offers NIL opportunity benefitting women athletes
Division Street — a University of Oregon-focused NIL company formed by Phil Knight and former Nike executives aimed at helping the school’s athletes — is launching a new NFT collection called Visions of Flight to benefit all participating female athletes at Oregon.
.@TheDivisionSt is launching the “Visions Of Flight” NFT collection designed by @liliptae with @sedonaprince_ and 11 other @GoDucks female athletes.

75% of the revenue will be equally shared by the participating athletes 🙌

@TomFriendWriterhttps://t.co/q0GhzqeLWn pic.twitter.com/6Kp6ZCCo0w
Visions of Flight will operate under Division Street’s Ducks of a Feather NFT platform and is designed by artist Lili Tae in collaboration with basketball player Sedona Prince and 11 other Oregon women athletes.
Athletes who participate will equally share 75% of the NFT’s revenues, with 25% being retained by Division Street to offset the project’s costs. When a Visions of Flight NFT is sold on a secondary marketplace, a 10% royalty will be placed in a Division Street wallet to benefit Oregon athletics.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Edgerrin James launches first NFT
James, the former Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals star, has launched his first limited-edition NFTs using Upstream’s carbon neutral, user-friendly exchange.
NFL Hall of Famer and Upstream brand ambassador, Edgerrin James, has launched his first limited edition NFTs using Upstream’s carbon neutral, user-friendly exchange!🎉

Check out Edgerrin’s NFT here: https://t.co/y3iPNg7aMP@MERJExchange #EdgerrinJamesNFT #NFL #NFTproject pic.twitter.com/RyOFmx1zvU
There are 200 NFTs released by James, priced at $50 each. Each NFT commemorates his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by presenting a signed, one-of-one custom 1975 Chevy Caprice Classic with custom leather seats signed by numerous Hall of Famers. In addition to a collector’s piece, buyers could also receive additional perks and experiences reserved for NFT holders.
Magic Johnson buys two virtual teams in new NFT sports league
On June 16, Johnson announced his acquisition of new football and basketball franchises in SimWin Sports, the world’s premier digital sports league.
“I’m so excited to be involved with SimWin, which is blazing a trail in one of the hottest new business sectors and has a great team leading the charge,” Johnson said in a release.
Built on proprietary Web3 technology, each player ownership can share in multiple league revenue streams, earning salaries, performance bonuses, fantasy sports and secondary marketplace revenues.
Other SimWin owners include sports and entertainment celebrities like Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk, Mike Singletary, Tracy McGrady, Penny Hardaway, LaMelo Ball, Jen Welter, Suzanne de Passe and Nick Carter.