Terrance Mann sitting on a couch next to Julian Aiken in front of a glass window
BOARDROOM SPOTLIGHT

Terance Mann is Breaking Down Barriers in Web3

Boardroom speaks with the LA Clippers wing about entering the Web3 industry alongside business partner Julian Aiken, as well as their plans to fight inequities in the emerging space.

Terance Mann is the next NBA star looking to break into Web3, but he’s not just there to make a buck (or a bitcoin) — he’s working to diversify the space starting at the ground level.

Mann, who recently wrapped his third season with the Los Angeles Clippers, has been working alongside his business partner, Julian Aiken, to help bridge the gap between underserved communities, and the worlds of Web3 and emerging tech. Boardroom caught up with Mann and Aiken to learn more about their work in the space.

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“[Seeing] my friends getting into it, seeing all the conversations about it, and seeing people not know too much about it and wanting to learn more about it. So I think just that overall, [the] aspect of it is what really inspired me,” said Mann about why he wanted to get into Web3.

Aiken is keen on “getting more Black and Brown creators and just overall letting them share some of the profits that you typically see in emerging markets,” he told Boardroom. Aiken oversees Mann’s digital portfolio and advises him on his Web3 work.

“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, one thing that we see is there’s just not too many people that look like us in the space,” said Aiken.

One of the strategic partnerships that Mann has landed in Web3 is with Chibi Dinos, an NFT project with a collection of 10,000 animated dinosaur-like creatures that sport basketball jerseys. Chibi Dinos holders gain access to the project’s play-to-earn metaverse featuring a game, exclusive content, and IRL experiences.

Chibi Dinos founder Sean Kelly launched the project in August 2021 and he said the collection sold out in 18 minutes, bringing in $2.4 million. Chibi Dinos has partnerships with other NBA players, including the Hornets’ PJ Washington and Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis. As for what the partnerships entail, Kelly said he’s willing to do as much as he can to help athletes integrate with the Web3 community. That includes creating custom Chibi Dinos shoes for players to wear at games, speaking engagements, exclusive video calls with NFT holders, and more.

“I came from NBA Top Shot, so I was heavily into basketball NFTs, and I owned a sports jersey company prior to this,” Kelley told Boardroom. “I knew I wanted to do something fun to appeal to the Asian market because Chibis are big in Asia. I think we sort of got everything in there to make it successful.”

As Terance Mann continues to break into the Web3 world, he’s looking for more than financial freedom; he wants to help Black and Brown people take up space in rooms they usually wouldn’t be invited into. And Aiken says he and the NBA star will be rolling out more partnerships in Web3 soon.

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