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College Footballer Kayvon Thibodeaux Launches Fan Tokens

College football player Kayvon Thibodeaux became a trendsetter this fall when he launched his very own fan token.

The NCAA rules restricting college footballers’ earning potential were quite strict until this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that put the power back into the players’ hands. It was ruled college players should benefit from their image rights, which opened the door for Thibodeaux to partner with provider Rally and launch his fan token, which is a form of cryptocurrency.

Kayvon Thibodeaux launches fan token

Kayvon Thibodeaux launches fan token

The Oregon Ducks star confirmed he was delighted to be at the forefront of the fan token revolution but stressed he was not selling an investment. “I feel like crypto is such a new space, and having an athlete involved in it kind of changes the dynamic of how athletes are viewed,” Thibodeaux told media after the launch. “I started looking at crypto in high school and seeing the future in crypto, and how far it can go — this was the next step in starting my future.”

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“This is not an investment,” he added on social media. “Consider it a membership into an exclusive community where you will have access to me as a fan or supporter.”

Thibodeaux, a potential first-round draft pick in 2022, is not the first college sports star to launch his own cryptocurrency; UCLA basketball player Jaylen Clark also partnered with Rally, launching $JROCK. “I already trade all the time,” he said at the September launch. “I’m active on my Robinhood account. I feel like it’s a great way to educate people on crypto and how it works.”

The rise of the fan token is something investors are taking note of. Recently, provider Socios launched their fan tokens across US sports, with NBA teams and a handful of NFL teams signing up. In that instance, fans buy a token that gives them exclusive access to promotions, events and even gives them a part in making some decisions. Many major sports brands across the globe have signed up, including FC Barcelona and Paris St Germain. The latter even paid player Lionel Messi part of his recent signing on fee in fan tokens.

While the benefits are obvious for a team, how they’ll manifest for an individual player is not clear. Thibodeaux intends to give fan token owners access to a gated Discord channel and offer reductions on branded merchandise. Further benefits, such as increased engagement, are currently being put into place.

Originally, his tokens launched at less than a dollar, but with 100,000 hitting the market, there’s clearly an intention to go big or go home. Also, 20% of the initial token revenue is to be allocated to the non-profit Jream Foundation.

Kayvon Thibodeaux has also signed a non-fungible tokens (NFTs) deal with Nike founder Phil Knight for a piece of artwork, putting him at the forefront of an exciting and evolving new industry. He’s not alone in that market; several big names within US sports have already capitalized on NFTs. A LeBron James Top Shot moment, honoring hall of fame inductee Kobe Bryant, recently sold for $387,600. In spring, NFL legend Tom Brady launched his own NFT range, called Autograph.

It’s certainly an expanding market, and Thibodeaux seems to be the first of a new batch of players making sure they’re on the cusp of that evolution.

About the Author
Sir Anthony is the Managing Director of Celebrity Myxer.
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