On Tuesday, December 13th, Manny Pacquiao signed an agreement to become an ambassador and honorary chairman of two NFT companies: START Inc. and NFT One. The move puts one of sport’s most recognizable faces at the forefront of two companies committed to NFT innovation in Asia and the Pacific.
The legendary boxer, who once held titles in eight separate boxing divisions, said he joined forces with the two companies to prep his fellow Filipinos for the up-and-coming Web3 industry. According to Pacquiao, cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens are the future of business, and his countrymen will benefit from education in Web3 sectors.
Pacquiao has not been shy about his interest in this nascent technology sphere. Just this year, he launched an NFT collection on the Cardano blockchain commemorating his late Jack Russell Terrier. “Pacman,” as Pacquiao named the dog, died when a car backed into it pulling out of Pacquiao’s Manila compound in 2020. The NFT collection features the Terrier in cartoon form with boxing gloves.
Both START Inc. and NFT One have focused their marketing and outreach efforts at NFT communities in Asia. START Inc. has cultivated relationships with popular NFT influencers on the continent, especially in its home country of Japan. The company released an NFT collection earlier this year, which sold out within seconds.
Although the Pacquiao’s actual responsibilities are still vague, there is no doubt lending his likeness to START Inc.’ and NFT One’s efforts will have an impact. Pacquiao remains a popular figure in Asia, no doubt due to his charismatic persona and boxing career that saw many anoint him as the best “pound-for-pound” fighter in the world.
Athletes Get Involved with Web3
Although many industries have entered Web3 in 2022, few have done so with as much enthusiasm as the sports industry. At Rarity Sniper, we have written countless stories about athletes, sports brands, and even leagues entering this nascent technology space. Here are three.
First, on December 6th, legendary Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen announced he was launching an NFT collection. Called “SP33 Collection,” the NFTs will celebrate Pippen’s career and the shoes he wore in-game. Holders have the possibility of receiving many rewards, including IRL kicks that Pippen wore during games.
Next, in November of 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo launched his “CR7” NFT collection. The set dropped on November 18th and featured several categories for rarity. The NFTs themselves commemorated different moments in Ronaldo’s soccer career.
Lastly, five months ago, Gatorade released its first NFT collection, which celebrated the best high school athletes in the country. The NFT drop also had a charitable component, with all primary sales and a percentage of secondary sales going to the nonprofit Good Sports.
Pacquiao’s partnership with START Inc. and NFT One is big news for the space and shows that some athletes are still betting big on Web3. Here at Rarity Sniper, we’ll keep our ears to the ground for further developments in the story.