The list of athletes that have been buying NFTs since their boom in 2021 and continued bull market in 2022 is long. In this piece we shine a spotlight on five notable names from across different athletic disciplines and the sports world.
Athletes Buying NFTs
Our star-studded line up includes players in the NFL, pro football, championship tennis, the NBA, and heavyweight boxers.
Former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro NFL athlete Dez Bryant bought Bored Ape Yacht Club #2902 in July 2021, only three months after they were minted and before they really blew up in value by another 2000% or so. That purchase was up there with the best NFT investors, athletes or otherwise.
Bryant launched an athlete NFT platform, Personal Corner, that builds dynamic athlete NFTs. They change in attributes over the course of the NFL season depending on the touchdowns, tackles, interceptions and overall performance of the player they represent. The platform is integrated with Chainlink technology.
Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior plays as a forward for top French team PSG, Paris Saint-Germain. Twice named the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012, he is regarded today to be one of the best players of all time.
In January 2022 Neymar Jr bought two BAYC NFTs, #6633 which he uses as his profile picture on Twitter and IG, and Bored Ape #5269. The floor price of the BAYC NFT collection risen even since then so he’ll be up on his NFT investment too.
American professional tennis star Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles, second only to Margaret Court in tennis history. She and older sister Venus Williams are undefeated in Grand Slam doubles finals. Both are considered among the best women’s tennis players of all time.
Serena was bought CryptoPunk #2950 by her husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. It has the rare trait of a headband (4% of CryptoPunks have one) and resembles an athlete NFT, although its unclear if that was Larva Labs’ intention when it was minted.
Serena is an ambassador for play to earn game Sorare, a fantasy football (soccer) game where the players are represented by NFTs.
Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen ‘Steph’ Curry is considered one of the best point guards and shooters in NBA history, twice named MVP and an eight time National Basketball Association All-Star.
Steph bought Bored Ape #7990 for 55 Ether (ETH), so he has more than doubled what he invested in NFTs in Ethereum terms by now.
He commemorated his three-point record by releasing his own NFT collection of 2,974 non-fungible tokens that were each a digital art replica of the sneakers he wore when breaking the NBA record.
British professional boxer Dillian Whyte is a two-time WBC interim heavyweight title holder, former kickboxing champion and mixed martial artist having also competed in MMA tournaments. He recently lasted almost six rounds against Tyson Fury, who is also into crypto representing Floki Inu.
We included Whyte in our list of boxing stars getting into NFTs.
Alongside boxer Florian Marku, he’s an ambassador of the Lucky Block cryptocurrency and NFT project. Holders of those can win prizes in NFT jackpots.
Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product.