Upstream works with college athletes to integrate NFT strategies to build and monetize their personal brands

NCAA D1 college athlete, Robert Cowherd Joins Upstream and launches his first NFT

by Fernanda De La Torre

Upstream works with college athletes to monetize their personal brands using digital collectibles. This week Robert Cowherd became the first NCAA D1 player to launch a limited edition NFT trading card on Upstream. 250 trading card NFTs are available for $5 each on the next generation trading app:

Help build your brand with NFTs

Building a personal brand has always been an important factor in attracting big-name deals in the pro leagues. Forward-thinking college athletes are building their social media presence at the start of their athletic careers and offering digital collectibles (NFTs) can help monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL) early on.

NFTs also work to bring fans closer to their favorite athletes by allowing alumni and supporters to own and collect meaningful digital collectibles from aspiring professional athletes at the start of their athletic careers. As the athlete’s career progresses, they’ll be able to recognize who their day one supporters and first NFT holders are.

For instance, Robert Cowherd’s trading card NFT gives holders access to a Web3 community where fans can safely hold and trade digital collectibles. First NFT holders will have bragging rights and immutable proof that they’ve been supporting his career from the beginning.

“My limited edition NFT allows me to connect with those who support me and contribute to the success of my career from the very beginning,” says Robert Cowherd Jr. “Upstream made the entire process seamless for me to start selling digital collectibles and build my Web3 audience.”

NFTs on Upstream puts control in the athlete’s hands

Athletes now have the financial control to get paid and capitalize on NFTs billion-dollar market, thanks to new NCAA rules governing name, image, and likeness (NIL).

This new ruling puts the power in the athlete’s hands, giving them access to revenue streams they’re in full control of.

There has never been a better time for college athletes to begin incorporating Web3 strategies to help grow their careers and jump-start their success.

Getting started on Upstream

Upstream makes it simple to start integrating digital collectibles into your athletic career. No upfront costs, no exclusive agreement, no creation or tech fees all on a safe and secure NFT platform.

  1. Sign a non-exclusive agreement
  2. Fill out a short form for us to create your very own NFT collection page to drive your supporters to
  3. Send us a pic or video so we can create your customized digital trading card NFT
  4. Join a quick call to get your account set up and set your launch date
  5. Share the news with the world on your social media and start earning cash on any NFT sales

View our detailed instructions on how to get started on Upstream as an NFT creator here.

Benefits of athletes launching digital collections on Upstream

  • Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is the first regulated securities exchange to offer NFTs. The measures we have in place work to protect your brand and your fans.
  • 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 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 proceeds 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

NFTs can create a continuous revenue stream that college athletes can take advantage of, especially now that NCAA rules are putting financial control back into their hands. We believe that NFTs can assist athletes in funding new ventures and develop fan engagement plays that have the potential to yield extraordinary results.

Interested athletes can reach the team at

Click to view our athlete one-pager.

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 MERJ

MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. Visit to learn more.

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


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.

NFTs received have no economic value, royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, and display only.

*U.S. investors are not permitted to purchase Upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in securities they currently own, that have been listed on Upstream, for liquidation purposes only.

If funding Upstream with an ACH or wire bank payment, users must complete Upstream’s in-app KYC process to get their new, FDIC insured, Upstream U.S. bank account details via email. Users may then initiate a funds-transfer from their bank or financial institution to this new U.S. Dollar bank account. If you haven’t completed KYC yet, or didn’t select ‘Bank’ as the ‘Deposit From’ option when you completed the process initially, then please go through KYC again selecting the ‘Bank’ payment method. Users may complete the simple KYC process by tapping the settings icon and the KYC option inside the Upstream app.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential,” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified, and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) difficulties in obtaining financing on commercially reasonable terms; (ii) changes in the size and nature of our competition; (iii) loss of one or more key executives or brand ambassadors; and (iv) changes in legal or regulatory requirements in the markets in which we operate. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

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