Strategic brand ambassador Edgerrin James will be advising college and professional athletes on how to integrate NFTs into their personal brand-building strategies using Upstream

By Fernanda De La Torre

This week we announced that Colts Hall of Famer Edgerrin James joined Upstream as a strategic brand ambassador.

We’re very excited to have Edgerrin James on board to help advise professional and college athletes on how to integrate NFTs into their personal brand-building strategies using Upstream’s app-based, carbon-neutral NFT market.

Edgerrin James

With 11 seasons and 4 pro bowls under his belt, Edgerrin James brings a vast network of NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL athletes and entertainers while offering invaluable firsthand experience to help drive Upstream’s growth initiatives across the sports and entertainment industries.

As a strategic brand ambassador, Edgerrin James brings nationwide exposure to our revolutionary exchange and Horizon’s sports division “Global Fan Exchange,” which gives athletes the tools to generate new revenue streams and create brand longevity through digital collectible, fan engagement NFTs.

“By the time I was 16 years old, I started to develop a mind for business and discipline,” says Edgerrin James. “As I outlined in my book “From Gold Teeth to Gold Jacket: My Life in Football and Business,” my focus is to use my platform to continue building up young and professional athletes financially. When I saw Upstream’s vision and the care they took to integrate safeguards for athletes and their fans, I recognized they were going to be a major player in this space and that their mission aligned with mine. Especially now that NCAA NIL rules have changed, college athletes are looking for new revenue streams they can maintain control of.”

NFTs bring athletes new opportunities

Both college and professional athletes are starting to recognize the potential in integrating web 3.0 into their personal brand-building strategies and now more than ever, athletes have the financial control to capitalize on the NFT market.

Last July, 2021 U.S. college athletes gained the ability to profit off their names, images, and likeness (NIL) from endorsements, sponsorships, and a variety of other business ventures.

This enables athletes to expedite their financial independence at the onset of their careers and capitalize on their social media presence. With the rise of platforms like TikTok, athletes can grow their audiences from a combination of their athleticism and personality.

Building a personal brand has always been a critical piece to landing big-name deals in the pro leagues. This new NCAA ruling gives college athletes a head start and incentive to build a strong brand. NFTs have a great ability to bring fans closer than ever to their favorite athletes, enabling alumni and fans to own and collect meaningful digital collectibles from aspiring professional athletes at a momentous part of their athletic journeys.

For professional athletes, NFTs enable them to leverage their personal brands to generate continuous NFT revenue with an avenue they’re in full control of. Professional athletes can leverage NFTs to fund and drive fan engagement to their ventures, a social impact initiative, and further drive goals.

Upstream has been working on creating a seamless, user-friendly experience for Athletes to enter the NFT space and be able to engage with their fans. Upstream doesn’t require any prior blockchain knowledge. This makes it simple for athletes to create NFTs and simple for fans to claim and purchase NFTs all from a user-friendly app. After an NFT sale, athletes will be able to withdraw profits immediately and have the opportunity to receive royalty payments each time an NFT is traded.

Upstream differentiators for athletes:

  • Upstream is the first regulated securities exchange to offer both NFT and securities trading to protect your brand and your fans in the NFT market.
  • Upstream features no upfront costs, no contract or lock-in period for athletes, and no gas fees charged to users which enables athletes to offer thousands or millions of free, low-cost, and premium NFTs.
  • Athletes can integrate a royalty to their NFTs and continue to receive royalty payments throughout the NFTs’ lifecycles. Athletes may withdraw profits immediately after sale to fuel their career and enjoy continued fan engagement through trading.
  • Upstream is 100% carbon neutral with its own solar “field” for ETH mining used for our Ethereum layer-2 rollups.
  • Upstream simplifies the fan user journey on its secure, eco-friendly platform. Fans can claim or purchase NFTs using PayPal, Credit or Debit Card, US dollars, or digital currency in the form of USDC Stablecoin.

Concluding thoughts

We’re excited to have Edgerrin James join our impressive team of partners and brand ambassadors which includes heavyweights across sports, music, and entertainment. James’ role as a brand ambassador will help drive our growth initiatives by advising professional and college athletes on how to enter the NFT market using Upstream. Make sure to follow us to stay tuned with all the new opportunities coming with the support of Edgerrin James!

Interested athletes can learn more at or reach the team at

About Upstream

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange enables investors to trade shares in IPOs, NFTs, U.S., and international dual-listed equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app Interested issuers can reach the team at

About Horizon

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at


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 brokerage 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 compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

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