Upstream Revolutionizing Fundraising and Fan Engagement for Universities through Digital Collectibles

By Anastasia Samaras

Upstream is offering universities a secure entry point into Web3, creating digital collectibles (NFTs) to generate revenue and fan engagement opportunities for their organizations.

As an authorized CLC vendor, an organization with 700 collegiate partners. Our relationship with CLC enables Upstream to use the name, image, and likeness, (NIL) of our partner universities.

The Upstream team celebrated Johnnies Day at Madison Square Garden with St. John’s University this past weekend!

The St. John’s men’s basketball game against Providence recently made headlines for their game-winning performance on the court, but that’s not the only reason it made history. They were the first university to launch a Digital Collectible (NFT) campaign on Upstream’s Marketplace!

The Johnny Thunderbird NFT was the first digital collectible released by St. John’s Athletics to commemorate Johnnies Day and offer fans a digital keepsake from the event.

The great outcome of the game and the university’s overall relationship with Upstream are just two examples of the innovative spirit that drives projects like this forward. The relationship was managed by our Sports & Entertainment Division Managers Jawed Halepota and Quenton Brown and St. John’s Basketball Alumni, D.J. Kennedy.

St. John’s University is setting the bar for other universities to follow in breaking into the Web3 space with innovative opportunities to engage fans.

Upstream for Universities, Alumni, and Fans!

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange market, is the only regulated, blockchain-powered exchange to offer NFTs and securities trading. We provide a secure one-stop-shop for universities to seamlessly create and sell authenticated NFTs to a global fan-investor community. As a compliance-first market, we support NFT longevity and security to protect your brand and fans.

We work hands-on with universities to identify key initiatives and establish an NFT strategy that will drive these initiatives forward and create additional value. These initiatives could include promoting a particular game, fundraising opportunity, or activation on campus that generates traffic and buzz with Upstream’s digital rewards program.

With Upstream, universities have a secure and reliable platform to provide digital collectibles to students, alumni, and fans and raise funds for various initiatives and promote campus culture. The no upfront cost, no contract, and no gas-fee structure on Upstream also makes it accessible for universities of all sizes and resources to get involved, making it an attractive option for a wide range of institutions.

How to take advantage of this opportunity

Upstream allows universities to create unique and exclusive digital collectibles tied to experiences such as access to exclusive events, content, guest lectures, or campus tours.

Universities can also take advantage of Upstream’s NFT technology to raise additional funds and expand their donation pool. By offering donors digital collectibles or membership NFTs, universities can say thank you to their supporters in a unique and engaging way.

Universities can also launch their own athlete NIL program, where athletes can monetize their personal brands by offering digital collectibles for fans to purchase in support of the athletes.

The use of NFTs also provides immutable proof of donation, attendance, and authenticity, which can be shared on social media and held in their Upstream wallets.

Additionally, universities can make NFTs redeemable for physical merch, ticket access to events, and other experiences to drive further engagement and action. Universities can successfully showcase and support various activities while enhancing their fundraising efforts by chaining redeemable NFTs together.


St. John’s University and Upstream’s launch of the first Digital Collectible (NFT) for their community has opened up new avenues for universities and endless ways to engage with their community.

By leveraging Upstream’s platform, universities of all sizes and resources can create and sell exclusive digital collectibles to a global fan-investor ecosystem, enabling them to strengthen their brand and expand their reach.

Upstream has the potential to revolutionize the way universities fundraise and engage with their audience, setting the stage for them to break into the Web3 space.

Interested universities can learn more at or reach the team at


This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted.

Commemorative NFTs are for utility, collection, and display only.

Redeemable NFTs and Commemorative NFTs are not securities and may be bought and sold globally, including by U.S. and Canadian persons.

U.S. and Canadian persons are not permitted to purchase Upstream-listed securities but are permitted to sell securities they currently own, that have been listed on Upstream, for liquidation purposes only.

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Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, and a full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement, and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practices and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development-stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings, and notification requirements, as well as compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

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