University of Miami men’s basketball players are beginning to cash in under new name, image and likeness rules.
Yummy Crypto, a cryptocurrency that donates three percent of transactions to charity, is finalizing contracts with eligible Hurricane basketball players for sponsorship deals worth $500 per month for 12 months, a total of $6,000 annually per athlete.
The only players who cannot participate are foreign nationals who are on student visas that prohibit them from working, according to Corey Huerta Johnson, Yummy Crypto’s Director of Partnerships.
Johnson said seven or eight Hurricanes have indicated they are opting into the deal. The crypto will be deposited to the cryptocurrency exchange wallets created for the players and they can then swap them for U.S. dollars directly to their bank accounts.
In exchange, UM basketball players will promote the Yummy Crypto brand and charity initiatives through social media and personal appearances. Since its launch in May, Yummy Crypto has donated $1 million to the Binance Lunch for Children charity to end world hunger and also contributed to other philanthropic organizations.
Johnson, a former walk-on basketball player at Lehigh University, is happy to see college athletes being allowed to make money through the new NCAA legislation.
“I know what these guys go through, even though they’re on full scholarships,” he said. “There are times where they need some extra cash or side money to be able to go out to dinner or get something from the grocery store or maybe they missed the dining hall because it was closed after practice. We saw (American Top Team founder) Dan Lambert’s deal with the UM football team and decided to piggy-back off that deal for the basketball team.”
Johnson said Yummy Crypto chose Miami partly because mayor Francis Suarez has said he wants the city to be a hub for cryptocurrency.
“We saw that and thought, `What if we were able to get our foot in the door in Miami and prove to the city that cryptocurrency is a real thing with real-life applications and also help these players and do some charity work in the community,” he said.
The deal, first reported by CaneSport, is being made in conjunction with Bring Back The U, a company created by Lambert, who put together a $500,000 endorsement deal for Miami football players.