Fan Experience Platform Mercury Raises $7.5M to Incentivize Universities’ Adoption of Digital Assets

Mercury recently signed over 70 Kentucky Athletics student-athletes and partnered with four universities to create customised NIL fan experiences using digital assets.
Image source: Business Wire

Quick take:

  • Multicoin Capital led the seed round.
  • Mercury works closely with student-athletes and university athletics departments to design and build tailored community fan engagement platforms.
  • Fan experiences include athlete conversations, specialized team content, and digital collectibles.

Mercury, a fan experience company for top student-athletes and collegiate sports programs, today announced a $7.5 million seed funding round led by Multicoin Capital, with participation from North Island Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Brevan Howard Digital, and others.

The company will use the funds to expand its partnerships to new schools, and grow its leadership team and Name Image Likeness (NIL) roster as it scales to support a growing pipeline of athletic programs to enhance the collegiate sports fan experience. 

The funding announcement comes after Mercury recently announced a new group NIL signing of over 70 Kentucky Athletics’ student-athletes for the university’s Mercury-powered fan engagement platform. 

It features an NFT-gated fan community with exclusive experiences, such as access to sit-down interviews with players and coaches, limited NFT drops and a community marketplace. Fan experiences include athlete conversations, specialized team content, and digital collectibles that unlock special access to games and other college events.

Student-athletes can also use digital collectibles as engage and retain their audience, incentivizing universities to adopt digital assets. 

Mercury recently partnered with the University of Central Florida’s athletic department and Clemson University’s athletic department, and will partner with the University of Oklahoma’s athletic department, Villanova University’s athletic department, giving student-athletes a way to monetize their talents and unlock additional sources of revenue stream.

“Mercury is catalyzing NFT adoption at the collegiate level by unlocking compelling new experiences that bring fans closer to the athletes and schools they love,” said Matt Shapiro, Partner at Multicoin Capital. “Mercury is creating a rich design space for fan experience innovation. In only a very short time, they have become a schelling point for passionate fans, college culture, and athlete monetization.”

In addition to the partnership with universities, Mercury recently hired former three-time Division I All-American and sports media personality Adam Breneman as Vice President of NIL and Media. He will be responsible for working directly with top athletes to cultivate their personal brands across the company’s fan platforms and podcast series.

“Athletes will be attracted to the schools that offer them the optimal platform to monetize their name, image, and likeness by authentically engaging directly with their fans,” said Colleen Sullivan, Co-Head, Ventures, at Brevan Howard.

Mercury joins the likes of Web3 ecosystem, Ocavu, which recently partnered with Brigham Young University Athletics (BYU) to launch a fan engagement platform integrating NIL, allowing BYU sports fans to support athletes through NFT experiences.

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