How Athletic Departments Can Leverage NFTs Alongside Student Athletes

Last Updated on February 3, 2023

I’m joined this week by Porter Grieve, CEO of Mercury, a white-label NFT platform that focuses on helping universities and sports teams to create one-of-a-kind digital fan experiences.

Mercury recently partnered with Kansas Athletics (read my piece on the deal) to create a new NFT platform. What I thought made this deal really interesting was how it was being combined with an NIL deal for the Kansas men’s basketball team.

The Kansas men’s basketball team will have a personalized NFT platform called Rock Chalk where fans will be able to buy, sell and trade Jayhawk collectibles. The first NFT drop is available on February 19.

Porter joined me to chat about:

  • How the deal with Kansas came to be
  • New revenue possibilities with NFTs
  • How athletic departments can work with their student athletes on NFTs and allow them to benefit financially thanks to the new name, image and likeness rules
  • The benefits of creating a community within your NFT platform
  • How much time and effort it takes an athletic department to create an NFT platform like the one at Kansas
  • The benefits of pairing in-person experiences, tickets, products and more with NFTs 
  • Creative ideas for using NFTs to drive fan engagement
  • And so much more!

You can listen below or click the Subscribe button at the end of this post to be taken to your favorite podcast app to listen.

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Previously, Porter co-founded Trace Innovations, a biosecurity and contact tracing software company he started in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, which delivered Bluetooth- based health and safety technology solutions to private middle and secondary schools and small businesses nationwide. Prior to that, he founded Sage Wellness (acquired by Bearn), a holistic wellness app and engine that provided customized recommendations based on data ingested from fitness apps and wearables.

Porter also was Special Projects and Digital Development Manager for Italian soccer club AS Roma, actively shaping club and brand-wide strategy across digital media, communications, and PR, as well as managing all technology partnerships and third-party integrations for the digital team. Porter graduated from Washington and Lee with degrees in Economics and Philosophy.

Listen to more episodes of the Business of College Sports podcast here.

Abridged Transcript

Transcript coming soon!


  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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