Web3 - The New Game for Athletes

Web3 – the “decentralized” World Wide Web – is coming to the world of sports, and with it comes new experiences for fans and new opportunities for athletes. The Sports-ISAO Crypto Team is here to help make Web3 a win-win for athletes and fans alike.

The collectibles market in the sports world was one of the first to embrace the new Web3 technology of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs are digital assets with a record of ownership stored permanently on a blockchain. The creation of NFT-based and blockchain-powered NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs in 2019 brought a peer-to-peer online marketplace for tradable digital collectibles to sports fans everywhere, reportedly generating some $1 billion in total sales already. Tradable digital assets can represent memorable moments in sport in the form of images, music or video clips, authentic player-owned assets, and countless other marketable artifacts. Trading in sports-related NFTs is fueling rapid growth in the broader sports memorabilia market, already accounting for some $2 billion within the overall $26 billion market.

In 2021, the NCAA changed their rules to allow collegiate athletes to make money by selling their name, image, and likeness rights. Already, college sports NFT sales are growing rapidly and multiple NFT marketplaces and other service providers have emerged catering to the collegiate market. The sector is booming.

Today’s Web3 technology allows the athletes themselves to control and benefit from the monetization of their NIL assets. This is quite different from the pre-digitization era. In the early 1950s, for example, Topps was paying Major League baseball players $125 per year for the right to use their image on trading cards. Yet in August of this year, a single (non-digitized) 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card in original condition sold for $12.6 million. Were NIL property rights lost in the process? Web3 blockchain technology changes the game, allowing the player’s interest in future transactions of NIL assets to be preserved.

However, NFTs alone do not settle all the legal questions about asset ownership. Protections against fraud and counterfeiting are weak. There can be legal challenges to ownership of the NFT asset. And both athletes and fans must be careful to avoid exploitation by NFT hosting platforms and marketplaces on issues such as licensing, image rights, and payment obligations.

The Sports-ISAO Crypto Team

The Sports-ISAO Crypto Team has the specialized expertise and knowledge of the sports domain to advise athletes, teams, leagues, and universities as they navigate the crypto-NFT maze, helping them to:

  • Stake a claim of ownership;
  • Protect their NIL assets through legal enforcement of rights;
  • Provide verifiable rights transfer of authentic NIL assets;
  • Monetize their digital identity and personal brand through tokens;
  • Assert ownership over Digital Identity, and all its derivatives and manifestations.

Crypto Team Leadership

Doug DePeppe, Esq, Founder, eosedge Legal, Board President, Cyber Resilience Institute (CRI)

  • Founder and Principal in its cyberlaw practice, has been specializing as a multidisciplinary cyberlaw practitioner since serving in cyber operations offices in the US Government, in the US Military, and in private practice since 2004. 
  • Holds a Juris Doctor and a Master of Laws degree with a focus on national security law and cyberlaw. He served on the 2009 White House 60 – day Cyberspace Policy Review, as part of the Lawyers Working Group; and, in 2018, he was inducted into the Information Sharing Hall of Fame. 
  • In private practice with the multidisciplinary cyber firm he founded, provides Incident Response assistance, Data Privacy and Protection advisory and training services to corporate leadership, and public-privacy partnership and information sharing assistance to a cross-sector set of clients. 
  • Leads two cyber working groups with affiliation to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the ISAO Standards Organization; and he serves as Board President of the Cyber Resilience Institute, and leads its Sports-ISAO Program Office. 
  • Engages in international consulting to both public and private organizations, has spoken at conferences across five continents, and has published his work in periodicals and journals. His firm is the exclusive cyberlaw and services provider to the IR Global network, which offers a variety of data privacy and cybersecurity services around the world.

Jane Ginn, Co-Founder, Cyber Threat Intelligence Network (CTIN), Secretary, OASIS, Board Member, Cyber Resilience Institute.

  • Over 30 years of international business experience in engineering consulting, information technology, and cybersecurity/threat intelligence. She has broad experience in security management, network architecture, systems integration, cloud services and threat assessment.
  • Co-founder of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Network (CTIN) and serves as Secretary of the OASIS Threat Actor Context Technical Committee (TAC TC).
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI TC) Secretary on STIX/TAXII standards development for eight years.
  • Currently serves on the Board of the Cyber Resilience Institute (CRI), a skills training organization, and is co-founder of Sports-ISAO which has been providing security operations support for major global sporting events since 2016.

Greg Ewing, President, Cypress Borg, LLC, Partner, Sports ISAO 

  • Over 30 years of experience delivering research and business advisory services to MNCs, financial institutions, and government agencies.
  • Has helped hundreds of organizations consistently deliver better results using sophisticated planning, strategy, and risk management tools. For the last five years he has focused more specifically on deploying technologies designed to help institutions successfully meet complex privacy, cybersecurity, and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) challenges.

Thomas Fuhrman, Founder & President, VECTORmv LLC.

  • Extensive subject matter expertise and consulting experience in blockchain and cybersecurity. Record of success in leading and growing technology businesses in companies ranging from very small to global. Areas of expertise include:
    • Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency technical concepts, platforms, and governance. Group leader of the IEEE P2145 Blockchain Governance Standards Committee.
    • Cybersecurity strategy, policy, security controls, and the enterprise management of cyber risk. Co-Lead of the Emerging Technologies Group, Shared Assessments. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
    • Industry sector-specific blockchain applications and future directions. Evolving developments in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), Decentralized Finance (DeFi), tokenization, and applications of Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs).
  • Previous roles: Consulting leader at Marsh; President of Delta Risk LLC; Partner, Senior Vice President, and consulting leader at Booz Allen Hamilton; Policy lead at White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.