FTX’s latest sports sponsorship

The University of Kentucky has entered into a sponsorship agreement with FTX.US for the men’s Wildcats basketball team to act as brand ambassadors.

Players will receive a monthly stipend in United States dollars from FTX.US paid in FTX debit cards and will also be able to create their own nonfungible tokens (NFT) on the FTX NFT platform and keep a portion of the revenue.

University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. Source: ukathletics.com

A recent decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to allow athletes to monetize their likenesses and names made the NFT deal possible. 

It’s the latest in a series of partnerships between FTX and American sports brands, including the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat and Major League Baseball.

Activist fights the power with NFTs

New York artist and activist Drue Kataoka has announced an NFT auction for her audio-visual NFT artwork, with all proceeds to be donated to civil rights activist groups The King Center and stopaapihate.org.

A partnership with Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB, “Will Your Heart Pass the Test” is a multimedia NFT featuring symbolism from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and taking inspiration from a myth in which a person’s heart is weighed against a feather to work out if the soul is ready to move on to the afterlife. Each frame took 20 minutes to render, resulting in a total of 23 days to render the full NFT.

According to the official announcement, the NFT was made in response to the “missed opportunities to confront an exhausted, suffering world plagued by the social ills of racism and sexism” on the internet and within the NFT ecosystem. Kataoka is an artist-technologist-activist who serves some of the world’s top art collectors across 30 different countries.

Traditional auction house Phillips will handle the auction starting on Dec. 8 and ending on Dec. 15.

WeMeta closes first funding round worth $1.1 million

NFT land marketplace WeMeta announced that it had raised $1.1 million in its first funding round with support from seven strategic partners and six angel investors.

WeMeta will use the investment to continue building out its multichain NFT land marketplace that offers transparent pricing for metaverse land in The Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium Space.

Participants in this funding round included Delphi Digital, DeFi Alliance, Digital Currency Group, Galaxy Interactive, Hashed, SkyVision Capital and Tribe Capital, with angel support from Andy Chorlian (Fractional), Darren Lau (The Daily Ape), John Fiorelli (Kenetic) and Navi Singh (Antler).

Tom Shaughnessy from Delphi Digital commented:

“WeMeta is positioning to become the dominant digital real estate aggregator and analytics platform for the Metaverse.”

NFT horse racing game Zed Run’s tie in with Netflix film

Digital horse racing and breeding platform Zed Run has announced a partnership with the newly released Netflix film The Harder They Fall, which was made in collaboration with Virtually Human Studio.

Zed Run gives users the ability to buy, sell, breed and race digital racehorse NFTs online. Users can also bet on the outcome of races, which they can view in real-time via a livestream on the Zed Run website or on Twitch.

Related: Asia-Pacific leads the world in NFT searches on Google

The Harder They Fall is a new type of western about rival gun-slinging, horse-riding outlaw gangs. The film features scenes at the Redwood City Classic race. It is a story of revenge with a few twists and turns along the way, starring Idris Elba, Regina King and Damon Wayans Jr.

The partnership will bring “The Redwood City Classic” to Zed Run. This new event will see Zed Run’s top 12 NFT racehorses race against one another in a themed, single high-stakes race on Nov. 14.

Other NFT News

Popular NFT metaverse The Sandbox announced on Tuesday that it had completed a $93-million Series B funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The funds will be used to improve scalability by adding new games and experiences to the ecosystem.

Crypto trading platform Crypto.com debuted its UFC NFT series. These NFTs are the first to be authorized by the UFC. The series will feature collectible moments from fight nights, event posters, championship belts and fighter avatars.