NFTs are an interesting topic. It is a popular one right now because of how much money has been involved with it, but it is still a questionable topic as well. Not everyone is educated on it, and it is hard for many to completely understand, and that is a main reason as to why you have yet to see athletes join the NFT space. There simply aren’t a lot of athletes already in the space, at least from the outsiders perspective, to be able to help more athletes succeed in it.
With that being said though, there are going to be a number of CFL players entering the NFT space very soon, and ready to succeed in the space, all thanks to Calgary Stampeders’ defensive back Malcom Lee’s start-up, Showtime NFT. Showtime NFT is an NFT community started by athletes (Malcom Lee), for athletes. He plans on using the platform to the advantage of athletes, and to help those around him win off the field, but this didn’t all just happen overnight for him to figure out this concept. “I got into NFTs and Crypto two years ago. I didn’t know much about it.” he told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “It was during the pandemic, and one of my friends knew about it and was into it so I bought an NFT, I thought it was cool and I liked the interaction idea to it and how it can grow in value and I looked at it as a way we can grow our brands as athletes.”
Lee mentioned that NFTs can be a “power shift” for athletes, and more specifically the CFL, the league he plays in with the Calgary Stampeders.
After growing up in British Columbia, going to school in Burnaby at St Thomas More and being put into football by his father Orville Lee who starred in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger Cats, Malcom Lee went on to play at the University of Nevada before transferring to the University of British Columbia where he made a name for himself as a defensive back. He was drafted in the 2019 CFL Draft by Calgary at 46th overall, but only reported to the team in August of 2021 after he played across the border, pursuing his NFL dreams.
He’s been on a number of different football teams and in a number of different locker rooms with a lot of teammates. Last season in 2021 was the first time he was able to talk to his teammates about NFTs and Crypto Currencies. It was easy for him to talk about it because of the passion he has for the topic, but not everyone understood the concept like him. “It was tough,” Lee said, “only a few guys really understood it all, but it was cool to converse with them and talk with my teammates about the industry. I saw a lot of potential in more athletes being a part of the NFT community, and I want to see more athletes in the NFT space. It can be very beneficial on so many levels.”
After talking with teammates last season about NFTs and the whole concept behind them and other forms of crypto currencies, Malcom Lee launched “Showtime NFT” which is a platform where athletic excellence meets digital innovation. The idea came up when he realized that the majority of athletes are unaware of the topic, and the impact NFTs can have on their career. Showtime NFT is to raise awareness around the fact that NFTs can be a major part in athletes’ brands and can only grow moving into the future. Through his platform he will help athletes get the introduction they need to the NFT space and get started with NFTs, creating, selling and buying them. As mentioned, he sees this being a big part in the future of athletics, and it can definitely help the growth of the CFL, the league that Lee plays in.
“It goes deeper than just the NFTs.” he explains, “An NFT creates a community. It expands a brand. And athletes are a brand, and they have fan bases which can be built bigger, and better through selling an NFT. It allows fans to directly communicate with them, and get exclusive opportunities that only are given to people who buy the NFTs. It can be a big part in branding and marketing football players and other athletes. We do it already with physical football trading cards. The NFTs are similar to that, but allow for more personal connections, strengthening the relationship between fans and players.”
Showtime NFT has been online for a few months now, since late 2021, and is bound to grow bigger with a number of athletes already involved and in the process of getting into the NFT space. One thing that Lee, and his platform, Showtime NFT gives the voice back to the athletes. Allowing the athletes to tell their stories and connect with their fans in a genuine and authentic way. JZ Media’s vision of telling athletes stories, and being the media source for the athlete has so much synergy, and gives the opportunity for Showtime NFT athletes to work with JZ Media to tell their story, while they build their brands through their NFTs and more.