East Lansing – Michigan State University third-year coach Mel Tucker has already proven himself a master at building high-level college football teams and beating Michigan State.
Now he shows that he is also at the forefront in another field. It’s NFTs.
Tucker released a series of NFTs this month. called NFTuckfans can acquire Michigan collectibles and get behind-the-scenes access to the program while supporting charities.
For Tucker, the project was a dive into a new and evolving world to find out how it could benefit Michigan State players and programs.
“I think it’s important to be able to show players that you understand names, images, and caricatures. I want to be a role model for them when it comes to how to do things,” Tucker said. “When things are new, we attack them and try to understand them and see how we can benefit from them.
NFTs (short for non-fungible tokens) are one-of-a-kind digital collector’s items whose ownership is recorded in an online ledger called a blockchain. The NFTuck collection includes 3 of his NFTs. Bowl Championship Ring, a unique image and digital animation of Michigan’s Peach Bowl Championship Ring. And the Tuck’s Shoe, an artistic representation of the shoes Tucker wore during a Michigan State game.
In addition to the digital assets, NFTuck owners also get other in-person perks such as passes to attend Michigan State practices during the 2022 season and access to video chat with Tucker during the season.
“This is truly your ticket to the world of MSU football,” said Jeff Lambert, chairman of public relations firm Lambert, which helped organize the sale.
Over the past two years, the popularity of NFTs has exploded, growing from a barely existent market to a $3 billion market, with sports collections a significant portion of that market.
This growth coincides with the NCAA changing its rules a year ago to allow college athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness.
Many collegiate sports officials are looking to combine NFTs and NILs to create opportunities for athletes. In addition to raising funds for charity, Tucker wants to use NFTuck to “create a blueprint” for how Michigan athletes can utilize his NFTs to maximize his NIL said he was thinking.
“Coach Tucker really believes it should be a student-athlete driven program, so he wanted to test the water himself. “The next step is to create a platform for student-athletes.”
And, of course, there is the recruitment angle. If a prospect’s family is interested in his NFT and how to monetize it in college track and field, Tucker has something to point out.
“I think it’s important to show parents and prospective clients that we’re open to new things and looking for ways to help our children,” Tucker said.
Lambert said that as of earlier this week, more than 25 NFTs have been sold from NFTuck at valuations between $400 and $900. The goal is for him to raise $50,000 for the Boys and Girls Club.
And fundraising won’t stop anytime soon. In the future, whenever his NFT in the collection is resold, a cut from that deal will be sent to the Boys and Girls Club to generate revenue for future charities.
“That’s what’s unique about NFTs. It’s that they actually incorporate residual trading benefits that are really unique for charitable giving,” says Lambert.