DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NFL Hall of Fame Running Back and 2020 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Eric Dickerson has partnered with his alma mater, SMU, and Zelus, a company at the intersection of creativity, culture, and technology, on his first NFT offering. The Dickerson “Legendary” collection is a set of 50 NFTs that combine artistic rarity and VIP experiential benefits to maximize appeal and value.
“I’ve been excited about the NFT business as a way to create better connections with my fans,” Dickerson said, adding, “But I didn’t want to rush it with just anybody, I wanted trusted partners like my alma mater and Zelus.”
A signature piece of the project is a life-size painting of Dickerson that was commissioned by well-known sports artist, Vernon Wells, which will be placed inside SMU’s Ford Stadium, not to be sold. This painting serves as the inspiration for the NFTs that will be minted, all with slight dynamic visual alterations to the original artwork, creating 50 unique versions, i.e. different backgrounds, animated movements and jersey combinations including SMU’s current popular “Dallas” uniform.
“SMU is excited to be a leader in NFT partnerships in the collegiate space,” SMU Athletic Director Rick Hart said, adding, “We see the Dickerson NFT as both a great way to celebrate Eric and the embodiment of one of our core values – Innovation.”
The collection will feature a unique IRL element wherein Dickerson will make appearances each year for five years to create VIP engagement with the NFT owners. Options will include watching an SMU game on the field, VIP dinners, rounds of golf, “chalk talks” and a “Stories Untold” series in podcast format.
A “Hall of Fame” one-of-one NFT will also be minted that entitles the owner to receive a trip for two via private plane to Las Vegas for Dickerson’s College Football HOF induction on December 7, 2021 as SMU’s honored guest. The “Hall of Fame” NFT is the only one in the collection to feature Eric Dickerson’s signature and its first instance encoded on the blockchain.
“Zelus is positioned to be the trusted partner for IP holders – universities, artists, celebrities, and entertainment properties,” said Dale Alexander, Chief Creative Officer at Zelus. “We’re focused on designing dynamic and bespoke launches for our partners while ensuring they receive the highest-level IP protection. Creativity, innovation and peace of mind are what we offer, that’s how we deliver the most value for everyone involved.”
All NFT auctions will begin on November 17th on smunft.io with the “Legendary” editions lasting for 24 hours, and the one-of-one “Hall of Fame” edition for 48 hours. Fans will be able to purchase using a credit card and NFTs will be able to transfer to multiple crypto wallets (i.e. MetaMask, Rainbow). For more information on Zelus, visit Zelus.io.
Zelus is a 1-stop shop for the creation and issuance of NFTs, offering all the expertise necessary in a single company. From IP to creative to marketing to technical to investment, the company offers the full suite of services from an idea’s infancy to full production and execution.
Creative experts work with IP holders to identify the best way to package their legacy into a meaningful digital collectible. The team has extensive intellectual property expertise, providing the necessary consulting to NFT issuers. The technical team manually mints NFTs allowing for dynamic functionality that would otherwise be unobtainable. Zelus marketing and creative teams work closely with the IP holder to ensure the NFT released is not only artistic, but also commercially attractive.
Ranked among the Top 20% of best national universities by U.S. News and World Report, SMU is the only NCAA FBS program in Dallas, Texas, a top-5 media market. Since 2013, SMU has invested more than $150 million in athletics facilities, 12 of 17 programs have won at least one conference championship and 16 programs have made the postseason. With over a century of athletics tradition, SMU has won eight National Championships and 170+ Conference Championships and has posted 150+ NCAA Top-10 Finishes. SMU student-athletes have won over 100 individual National Championships and earned over 1,900 All-America honors. More information about SMU and its coaches, student-athletes and teams is available at SMUMustangs.com.
ABOUT ERIC DICKERSON
Eric Dickerson, a two-time All-America choice at SMU, was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. An immediate success, he established rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18). His efforts earned him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. He became the first player in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons. During his 11-year career, Dickerson gained 13,259 yards rushing, which was second all-time at the time of his retirement. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Dickerson was All-Pro in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988. Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2019, he was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
ABOUT VERNON WELLS
Vernon Wells is a world class artist. Residing in Texas, he is commissioned by sports figures across the country, and in all levels of competition, to recreate their special achievements, personal and professional.