The two-time WNBA champion documents monumental moments of her personal and professional career in a new five-piece set.
With the start of the new WNBA season, new Atlanta Dream vice president and co-owner Renee Montgomery is wearing a whole lot of hats.
Few athletes have had a busier year than two-time WNBA champion. After closing the curtain on her 11-year professional career, Montgomery joined the Dream’s ownership group during the off-season after helping to oust former owner (and former US Senator) Kelly Loeffle, bringing her invaluable perspective into the executive suite.
However, the multi-talented Montgomery’s interests have always been more diverse than just basketball. Throughout her career, she found herself straddling the technology, business, entertainment worlds a well. And today, she’s combining all of her passions into one, becoming first individual WNBA star to launch her own NFT collection on OpenSea.
“The Starting Five” collectibles set pays homage to the former All Star and Sixth Woman of the Year’s storied run in the W, as well as her accomplishments off the court.
All guided by a personal philosophy of “moments equal momentum,” the set blends artwork and storytelling to highlight five of Montgomery’s most memorable moments, including her record-setting seven three-pointer game, her career-spanning six championships across the high school, college, and pro levels, and her recent retirement.
Although she’s not the first athlete to launch a personal NFT collection — she follows the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Patrick Mahomes, and Jessica Pegula — Montgomery is no stranger to blazing new trails. In 2020, she was among several WNBA stars who opted out of the season entirely in order to focus her efforts on social justice causes.
The collection includes her now-iconic tweet with which she first announced that move.
“The storytelling is the coolest part of the NFTs,” Montgomery said on her YouTube Series “Remotely Renee.”
Jonah Ballow, Managing Partner and Head of Content Strategy at HEARTLENT, which collaborated on the collection, said that nonfungible tokens offered a unique opportunity for the multi-faceted Montgomery to showcase her diverse accomplishments with an assist from crytpo technology.
“The Collection is focused on monumental moments in Renee’s career and life. This is what brings a whole new level to the collection. It’s not just a highlight; it has meaning behind it and it really tells a story about who Renee Montgomery is, and about the tech, sports, and business worlds that she overlaps in. [The NFT collection] is the perfect way to tell that story,” Ballow said in a conversation with Montgomery.
In order to achieve this vision, they teamed up with artists from around the globe to bring these highlights to life. And the team added a personalized touch to each level of detail in the collection. They minted every item in a limited, numbered series, with each number carrying a special meaning. For example, the NFT featuring Montgomery’s No. 21 jersey has 21 editions. There are 11 retirement announcement NFTs to reflect her 11 years in the league, as well as six championship rings representing her three West Virginia state championships in high school, her NCAA title at UConn, and her WNBA titles in 2015 and ’17.
The move into the digital collectibles world is only one of many for Montgomery. In addition to joining the Dream’s ownership group, where she devotes much of her efforts to marketing and community development, the longtime point guard also launched Crooked Media’s first sports podcast, “Takeline,” with co-host Jason Concepcion.
Montgomery’s vision has always been greater than her own accomplishments. In her fledgling career as an executive, she’s been laser-focused on creating opportunities for women to thrive: In advance of their 2021 season opener, the Dream introduced the league’s first all-women in-house announcing team.
Her NFT collection is just the most recent accomplishment in a momentous career. And at just 34 years of age, we can assume that Montgomery is only getting started writing the next chapter of her story.