The Seminoles are hitting the ground running in this regard as the vast majority of the team signed individual contracts for NIL deals with cryptocurrency exchange FTX late last year.
FTX, a website where people can buy or sell various cryptocurrencies, has entered the sports market on quite a few fronts. Recently retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady has an equity stake in the company and reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani is an ambassador for the brand.
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FTX also has recently agreed to naming deals on the Miami Heat’s arena and the University of California’s football stadium. They are now called FTX Arena and FTX Field, respectively.
In an effort to create a larger impact in women’s sports, FTX partnered with members of the UCLA women’s basketball team and the FSU softball team for deals that were first reported last December.
FSU outfielder Kaley Mudge was approached by FTX and tasked with inquiring as to which of her teammates would also be interested in promoting the company.
“FTX originally reached out to me and I just kind of helped set up a few Zoom meetings so we could learn more about what cryptocurrency was, what they would expect of us in the deal,” Mudge told the Democrat.
“We’re not allowed to do any team deals, but they offered each one of us individual contracts for whoever was interested. Most of the team is in on the deal…They’ve been really helpful. It’s been a really fun deal.”
The deal is being paid out entirely in cryptocurrency and is believed to be the first team-wide deal across college athletics where that is the case. Terms and length of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but FTX told Forbes that if the entire team signed on that, it would pay out nearly $80,000 to the FSU players.
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The deal calls for all the FSU players under contract to make a certain amount of posts on their social media accounts promoting FTX. It’s been something that the team has enjoyed much more because it’s been able to do it together.
“Doing it with the team, we’re allowed to make team TikToks or post together as a team and that can count for each one of our posts. It’s been a lot of fun coming up with new ideas to help promote the company,” Mudge said.
“(The players) were definitely excited because for most people it was their first NIL deal. It’s kind of fun when you have your teammates along with you creating content and reaping the benefits of being able to use your social media.”
While that may be the only active NIL deal for some players on the team, that’s not the case for Mudge. She’s on Cameo and will record personalized video messages for $30 and was paid to appear in her hometown Seminole County Tourism’s “Game On” campaign.
The NIL initiative Mudge may be most proud of is her involvement with College Sports Evaluation. The company, based out of Fort Collins, Colo., helps high school baseball and softball players determine what level they could play at the collegiate level depending on their statistics and measurables.
“Whether they are a D-I level player or D-II, D-III or NAIA players, giving freshmen or sophomores in high school a better idea of what they should look for,” Mudge said.
“That’s been really fun because I really feel like I’m growing the game with that one.”
Reach Curt Weiler at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @CurtMWeiler.
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