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Division Street Launches NFT Platform to Benefit Oregon Student Athletes

The collection of NFTs crafted specifically for Oregon football was created by Nike designer and UO alum Tinker Hatfield.

Division Street has launched an NFT platform called "Ducks of a Feather" that will connect Oregon student athletes to fans, boosters, and collectors. The revenue from the platform will benefit Oregon student athletes directly.

The first collection of NFTs — which stands for non-fungible tokens — is a collaboration with the Oregon football team called "Flying Formations." Nike designer and University of Oregon alumnus Tinker Hatfield designed the 120 unique art pieces that will be auctioned off.

The auction will take place on Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. PT on Ducks of a Feather's website. 67.5% of the proceeds from the auction will be shared equally by participating members of the Ducks football team, 22.5% will go toward Division Street's mission to create NIL opportunities tailored toward Oregon student athletes, and the remaining 10% will be contributed to a Division Street fund to benefit other athletic programs across the university.

Each NFT sold will be accompanied by a unique, physical pair of UO special edition Nike Air Max 1s, designed by Hatfield, that will feature a representation of the unique NFT on the tongue of the shoe and an autograph from Hatfield.

Ownership of the NFT will grant a right to claim the Air Max shoes. Each NFT is associated with a unique pair of the special edition shoes with their own size and serial number. There will be a claim window when NFT owners can redeem their shoes at a future date.

According to Ducks of a Feather's website, each NFT is inspired by Hatfield's own experience as an Oregon student athlete competing in track as a pole vaulter prior to joining Nike.

“As a former Oregon student-athlete, I remember clearly the sense of brotherhood that exists within our teams and it was an honor to create a depiction of that brotherhood through the design of Flying Formations,” Hatfield said. “I have such a passion for the school and the athletes, and it’s a dream to work on something unique like this that directly supports them.”

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According to Division Street's press release, seven Oregon football student athletes were contracted to provide "specific content for the initiative." The athletes include TJ Bass, Brandon Dorlus, Justin Flowe, Mase Funa, Jamal Hill, Kris Hutson, and Noah Sewell.

"Knowing that our stories inspired the legend Tinker Hatfield and seeing that inspiration come to life in an NFT collection that supports our team is just incredible,” Hill said. “Oregon is a special place that’s meaningful to each of us individually, but it’s our work together as a team that makes us who we are. We came from all over, with different backgrounds, experiences and circumstances. But once we landed at Oregon, we become family. We can’t wait to share this collection with the world and provide 120 fans with a truly unique experience.”

Hatfield designed the Air Max 1 that was first released in 1987. He said that it was chosen for this NFT collection to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

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"Since I was also the author of [the Air Max 1] and there's a big story behind the innovation of it as the first shoe with visible Air — which ties into the innovative spirit of the university — I felt like I had a personal connection to it," Hatfield said of why he chose the Air Max 1 for the NFT. "I was looking to find something that had its own weight and its own storyline, and it just so happens that it's the 35th anniversary of the Air Max 1."

The NFTs will be auctioned for cryptocurrency in a Dutch Auction, also known as a descending price auction. An art piece will be sold at a high price at the start, but the price will slowly decrease. Collectors can purchase an art piece when the price is right for them, but it can sell at any time.

Division Street was founded in Sept. 2021 by multiple University of Oregon alumni and donors, including Nike founder Phil Knight. Former Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu serves as Chief Athlete Officer and senior adviser to the company.

According to the company's website, its mission is "to empower Oregon student-athletes to be successful in the brand and marketing landscape, as well as maximize revenue opportunities."

Division Street has helped Oregon athletes earn profit through other NIL ventures. The company partnered with Airbnb for a rental property in Eugene that was co-designed by Oregon athletes who will also host it.

Other Oregon athletes to benefit from the NIL era are Sedona Prince, who partnered with UNINTERRUPTED, Champs Sports, and Eastbay; and Kayvon Thibodeaux, who has deals with Nike, Delta, Starface, and more.

To learn more about the NFTs that have taken over the global economy within the past year, check out Flowe's explanation in the video player above.

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