The firm behind the U.S.-based crypto exchange FTX.US, West Realm Shires Services Inc, announced Wednesday a new sponsorship deal with the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, according to a Wednesday release.
Through the deal, FTX.US will pay the UKY basketball players in USD and allow them to create and profit off their own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sold on the FTX NFT marketplace. In addition, FTX.US will donate funds to a charity of the UKY basketball players’ choosing.
“We’re thrilled to work with players from one of the most successful collegiate basketball programs in the country,” said Avi Dabir, FTX Vice President of Business Development, in a release. “Outside of the well-deserved financial compensation, we will be assisting in the student athletes’ education of digital assets so that they can make informed investment decisions as they look to enter the space.”
FTX.US’s sponsorship of the players comes three months after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allowed student athletes to profit off their names, image and likeness (NIL) — which the NCAA had banned before reversing the decision in July of this year.
In addition, FTX.US move comes two months after the firm launched a sports- and entertainment-focused NFT marketplace with Dolphin Entertainment, a media company, on August 2.