Innovative New Football League to Deepen Fan Experience While Providing Players and Coaches Direct Revenue from Sales of Digital Collectibles
FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs to Power Digital Tokens Platform and Storefront for USFL 2022 Inaugural Season
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. & LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2022 – To create a world-class experience for fans, players, and coaches, the new United States Football League (USFL) is partnering with FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) to launch an innovative NFT marketplace for digital collectibles.
BCL will mint and sell official digital tokens for the League, its teams, players, and coaches. Players and coaches will have the opportunity to work directly with BCL to create bespoke tokens. While details will be revealed to players and coaches when they report to training camp later this month, a majority of sales revenue from these NFTs will go directly to them via digital wallets. Using smart contracts on the blockchain, USFL coaches and players will be the first from any professional sports league to receive revenue at exact time of sale.
“Our partners at Blockchain Creative Labs are building a cutting-edge marketplace for digital collectibles that will create a unique experience for USFL fans, players, and coaches,” said Edward Hartman, USFL Executive Vice President of Business Operations. “At no cost to them, we are proud to empower our players and coaches by offering them sales revenues from NFTs they have a role in designing. Beyond the obvious financial benefit, USFL on-field talent will also be able to directly connect with fans like never before, allowing them to build and nurture long-term value for themselves that extends beyond the football field.”
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are digital collectibles that are one-of-a-kind or one of limited quantity. While most digitally created video, art, or music are infinite in supply, NFTs have unique identifying codes giving collectors exclusive ownership rights. NFTs exist on a blockchain, a digital public ledger that records transactions and makes it virtually impossible to cheat the system.
BCL will operate the USFL’s NFT digital platform and storefront.
“By partnering with BCL to give USFL players and coaches the technical infrastructure and creative resources to build and own their digital brand in an authentic way, the USFL is recognizing the power that blockchain provides to connect with fans in an innovative way,” said Melody Hildebrandt, BCL President and FOX Corporation Chief Information Security Officer. “BCL will provide concierge services that will assist USFL players and coaches to create NFTs, build a token economy around their professional brand, and manage their community on the instant messaging platform Discord.”
In addition, BCL will mint and drop a series of limited-edition Genesis Tokens for each team throughout the season. On Discord, fans will use tokens to unlock access into gated team channels for exclusive content and free merchandise while gaining first access to future USFL-related NFTs.
USFL coaches are Bart Andrus (Philadelphia Stars), Larry Fedora (New Orleans Breakers), Jeff Fisher (Michigan Panthers), Todd Haley (Tampa Bay Bandits), Skip Holtz (Birmingham Stallions), Mike Riley (New Jersey Generals), Kevin Sumlin (Houston Gamblers), and Kirby Wilson (Pittsburgh Maulers).
The USFL conducted its first-ever Player Draft on February 22-23, selecting 280 players from an eligible pool of more than 750 athletes who signed contracts to play in the new football league. Starting at 7:00 pm ET tonight, the USFL will conduct a 10-round supplemental draft to select 80 more players from the eligible pool. Players will report to training camps on March 22.
At the conclusion of training camps, each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad. The inaugural USFL season begins April 16.
About the USFL
The United States Football League (USFL) is a new, independent football league that is not affiliated with the defunct 1980s league or its owners. The inaugural USFL season will kick off April 16 with eight teams split into two divisions: the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and Tampa Bay Bandits in the South Division; and the Michigan Panthers, Pittsburgh Maulers, New Jersey Generals, and Philadelphia Stars in the North Division.
Each team will play a 10-game regular-season schedule, followed by semifinals on June 25 between the top two teams in each division and a championship game on July 3 between division winners. The USFL will complete its inaugural Player Draft with a supplemental round on March 10. Players will report to training camps on March 22. At the conclusion of training camps, each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad. Players will receive base compensation in addition to being eligible for victory bonuses. NBC Sports and FOX Sports are the League’s official media partners and will broadcast all 43 regular- and postseason games on FOX, FS1, NBC, USA, or Peacock networks.
Brian Woods is President of Football Operations, and former Dallas Cowboys standout and long-time NFL on FOX game analyst Daryl Johnston is Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Former NFL Vice President of Officiating and FOX Sports’ NFL and college football rules analyst Mike Pereira is Head of Officiating, and FOX Sports’ Edward Hartman is Executive Vice President of Business Operations. For more information, visit http://theUSFL.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN CREATIVE LABS
Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL), a new business and creative unit formed in 2021 by FOX Entertainment and its Emmy Award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment, provides content creators, IP owners and advertising partners end-to-end blockchain computer ecosystem solutions to build, launch, manage and sell Non-Fungible Token (NFT) content and experiences, and fungible tokens, as well as digital goods and assets. BCL also manages a $100 million creator fund, established by FOX Entertainment and Bento Box, which identifies growth opportunities in the NFT space