The next star USC quarterback and the 2004 Heisman winner have created an NFT platform built to help athletes capitalize on their NIL rights — now and in the future.
It has been 10 months since name, image, and likeness legislation was implemented across college sports and athletes across the country are continuing to find new ways to earn their long-deserved marketing dollars.
One avenue that has proven popular is in the digital collectible and NFT space. While new platforms and collections seem to drop on the regular, the market and consumer demand continues to grow.
Enter USC star quarterbacks of past and present, Matt Leinart and Caleb Williams, who have teamed up to launch a new NFT platform Hall of GOATs.
No, Leinart and Williams are not unique as athletes entering the NFT space, but if the industry’s brief history has taught us anything, it’s that the sustainable projects provide long-term value to their talent and community, alike.
Hall of GOATs will offer high school and college athletes the opportunity to drop exclusive NFT collections and take advantage of their NIL rights, while providing personal brand, content, and digital resources.
Williams, who recently transferred from Oklahoma to USC, has redefined the NIL landscape with his unique partnerships and investments, real estate ventures, overall business strategy, and now by co-founding Hall of GOATs with Leinart.
“I’ve been trying to figure out how to get into the digital collectible and NFT space for some time now,” Williams told Boardroom. “But not until I joined the Hall of GOATs team have I seen a platform that helps amateur athletes in particular build their brands, tell their stories and set them up for long-term success. It’s always been my goal to do something that could help my teammates and other athletes in this new space of college sports.”
Leinart, who won the 2004 Heisman Trophy and two National Championships at USC before becoming a top-10 NFL Draft pick, brings a unique perspective to NIL in general and Hall of GOATs in particular, as a former superstar amateur athlete turned TV analyst now for FOX Sports.
“All athletes grow up dreaming of becoming the greatest of all time in their sport, but as we know, few if any achieve this title,” Leinart shared with Boardroom. “The lifespan of an athlete’s career at the high school, college and pro levels is so short that it’s imperative to make the most of the limited window to build your personal brand on and off the field.”
Hall of GOATs will kick off its drops with an early access pass, followed by an NFT collection starring co-founder Williams, with more athlete partner announcements to come soon. Hall of GOATs’ offering for holders will feature access and experiences they can’t find anywhere else, including limited-edition merchandise, autographed memorabilia, tickets to tailgate events, and exclusive Discord conversations with athlete partners, among other benefits.
Outside of the NFT drops, Leinart, Williams and the Hall of GOATs team plans to work directly with their athlete partners on personal brand strategy, creative direction and digital community building, with a heavy focus on NIL.
“NIL is a chance to really explore my different interests off the field while building my personal brand the right way,” the 2021 Freshman All-American Williams added. “Everything I’ve done so far in NIL has been focused on being authentic to my own personality and story — I’m not shying away from being different and hopefully that helps other athletes reimagine what they can do in this space.”
The urgency for amateur athletes to tap into NIL opportunities is clear, with the chances of making it to the next level, more competitive now than ever before.
“98.5% of amateur athletes don’t go pro,” said Hall of GOATs CEO Greig Carlson, a former USC wide receiver. “I went from being a walk-on to earning a scholarship on a National Championship-winning team, but was out of the sport just as quickly.”
Built on the NEAR protocol and accepting credit and debit cards, Hall of GOATs is focused on sustainability and accessibility for their collectors and education and empowerment for their athlete partners.
Per Carlson, Hall of GOATs’ differentiator is its mission to helping amateur athletes maximize their NIL opportunities beyond “just” NFT launches, through partnerships with best-in-class experts across merchandise design and production, gaming and streaming activations, brand collaborations, and Metaverse integration.
Athletes, fans, and collectors can join the Hall of GOATs conversation via www.HallofGOATs.com and on their Instagram, Twitter and Discord channels.