John Askew, Quenton Brown, and Jawed Halepota join Upstream’s Sports and Entertainment Division

By Anastasia SamarasThis week we announced that John Askew, COO and part owner of Primetime Basketball League, and Liquid Royalty Co-Founders Quenton Brown and Jawed Halepota have joined Upstream’s growing client management team!

John, Quenton, and Jaweds’ networks and experience bring Upstream an expansive pool of top-tier potential clients across sports, media, and entertainment.

Welcome to the Upstream Team

John Askew; Senior VP Client Relations

John Askew is the current COO and part owner of Primetime basketball league and works as a producer alongside big names in the entertainment industry. As a former professional athlete, John has built a strong network of people in the pro sports industry which has aided him in his role as a consultant talent agent, working with over 50 musicians, actors, and actresses in job placement.

“Being on both the athlete and business side of the sports and entertainment industry has given me firsthand insight into athlete and brand needs,” says John Askew. “Upstream’s combined fan engagement and monetization solution is the blueprint for entering into the web 3.0 space safely, simply, and innovatively.”

Quenton Brown; Sports & Entertainment Division Manager

As founder of BAG, a sports and entertainment advisory company, Quenton Brown has established himself as an industry pioneer, catching the attention of Forbes and many others. His work with BAG has created an ecosystem for athletes and entrepreneurs of all levels. From high school to the professional world, BAG works with their clients at the highest level and equips them with opportunities that cross over into life and business. Quenton comes from a family of education and entertainment which is why he holds business degrees and has sports management experience. Playing collegiately and professionally in the NFL also aided him in shaping his career.

“As a former professional athlete, I understand how important it is to build a sense of community among your audience and fans,” Quenton Brown says. “That’s why I was drawn to Upstream; their goal is to put the control back in the athletes’ hands and provide the tools to build a unique presence and community.”

Jawed Halepota; Sports & Entertainment Division Manager

Recognizing pro athletes increased need for chefs, New York native Jawed Halepota founded Baller Food in 2015. The company is his answer to addressing the deep industry need. Under his leadership, he and his team of chefs have clients across the NFL and NBA. The notable trajectory and demonstrated work positioned Jawed as a leader as he fosters mutually beneficial relationships and normalizes the relationship between pro athletes and chefs. Baller Food has afforded Jawed the opportunity to build an extensive network within pro sports and entertainment’s most powerful circles and organizations. Jawed is a proud Alum of St. John’s University and the Institute of Culinary Education.

“Upstream’s methodology for NFTs and digital collectibles offers large and personal brands an innovative and user-friendly way to integrate Web 3.0 into their digital marketing strategies,” says Jawed Halepota. “We are at the forefront of bringing these unprecedented opportunities to the masses and are thrilled to begin sharing the upcoming projects we’ve already started working on. We’re pushing to establish the industry standard for utility-carrying digital assets. Athletes and organizations already implement brand engagement efforts that Upstream’s capabilities are built to seamlessly integrate into and immediately add value to.”

Upstream’s Ecosystem

John, Quenton, and Jawed join our growing community of sports, music, and entertainment heavyweights including NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, NFL Hall of Famer Edgerrin James, Antrel Rolle, Beatclub/Timbaland, BRON Studios, Ruffnation Entertainment, and more.

“John Askew, Quenton Brown, and Jawed Halepota bring invaluable expertise and strategic introductions to Upstream,” says Upstream Co-founder Mark Elenowitz. “Upstream has spent the first few months post-launch building an incredible strategic ecosystem to bring next level digital collectibles (NFTs) to market; these latest additions will further push this initiative.”

We believe our technology sets us apart by making digital collectibles accessible to the masses with no gas fees charged to users, familiar payment options, and forward-looking compliance integrations to ensure NFT longevity and protection for brands and athletes.

We believe our growing community of experts across sports, music, and entertainment sets us apart with a wide knowledge base of firsthand experience that has enabled us to address concerns and more seamlessly guides our NFT creators as they enter the Web 3.0 space.

Below are a few of our latest additions which we can expect to see in upcoming NFT campaigns and opportunities in the coming months:

  • SportVESTJoins Upstream to Integrate Unique NFT Opportunities into Their Global Sports Ecosystem
  • NFL Hall of Famer Edgerrin James Launches First NFT on Upstream
  • Ruffnation Entertainment Joins Upstream to Integrate Digital Merchandise (NFT) Opportunities into Resurging Vinyl Records Market
  • Former NFL Defensive Back Antrel Rolle Joins Upstream Securities & NFT Exchange as Athlete Brand Ambassador
  • NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins Joins Upstream Securities & NFT Exchange as Strategic Brand Ambassador
  • Lizzie Grubman PR & Management Joins Upstream’s Growing NFT Ecosystem
  • BPN Capital Group Partners with Upstream to Power $65 Million Paradise NFT ClubSale

Parties interested in integrating digital collectibles (NFTs) into their brands on a regulated exchange with no gas fees, no upfront costs, and no blockchain knowledge needed on a carbon-neutral platform 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 will enable investors to trade NFTs, shares in IPOs, crowdfunded companies, U.S. & Int’l. 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. Our 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


*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 trade in upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in a security they currently own that has listed on upstream for liquidation only.

Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges and 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 practice 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 compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

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