The 3-on-3 league will split team ownership with NFTs, as well as many perks included. Ice Cube talks to Decrypt about the move.
- BIG3, a professional basketball league, will split team ownership through NFT collectibles.
- League co-founder Ice Cube spoke to Decipher about BIG3’s NFT projects.
The BIG3 basketball league does things differently than the NBA, with 3-on-3 games, four-point shooting, and non-city-bound teams. And now the league that rapper and actor Ice Cube co-founded in 2017 is also ready to rethink team ownership, using NFT.
Today, BIG3 announced that it will be offering stakes in its 12 teams in the form of NFT collectibles, effectively splitting ownership on-chain. Each team will have 1,000 total NFTs split into two tiers: 25 “Fire” NFTs at $25,000 each and 975 “Gold” NFTs at $5,000 each.
The league currently owns all of its teams entirely. In an interview with DecryptIce Cube said that while BIG3 had always planned to sell teams to investors, the advent of block chain Technology and NFTs make it possible to spread ownership over a wider group, not just millionaires.
“The NFT blockchain revolution hit, so to speak, and we were like, ‘Yo, do we just want big cats buying teams that we have to deal with?'” he said. “It’s a great way for fans to be owners. And so, it’s a no-brainer for me. I’m all about changing the game and changing the paradigm.
Legendary rapper, actor, and entrepreneur Ice Cube explains to Decrypt’s Andrew Hayward why his BIG3 basketball league plans to offer split team ownership in the form of NFTs, as well as his personal interest in crypto.
An NFT functions as a blockchain-based certificate of ownership for a physical or digital item, whether it is a work of art, a community access pass, or, in this case , on the one hand. Ice Cube’s BIG3 co-founder, Entertainment Director Jeff Kwatinetz said Decrypt that NFTs will “most likely” be hit on Ethereumthe first smart contract platform for NFT assets.
BIG3 NFT owners will receive perks such as the ability to vote on team matters, tickets to all BIG3 games and additional VIP experiences, plus exclusive merchandise including championship memorabilia for the team winner every season.
$25,000 Fire NFT owners receive additional benefits, such as intellectual property and licensing rights to create merchandise, subject to league approval. The league will take a share of merchandise sales, as well as a royalty on all secondary BIG3 NFT sales.
If all the NFTs sold at the expected prices, it would generate $66 million for the young league as it aims to grow viewership, add more teams in the future, and expand internationally.
“No league offers stuff like that,” Ice Cube said. “When you really look at what we’re offering, I mean you’re about to get everything I get. I want people to feel like they’re owned, not like [these are] fashionable VIP packages.
Fire NFT owners could also benefit significantly in the future if a BIG3 team were sold through traditional means. If a team sale is approved by the league in the future, the majority of team owners, and a majority of Fire NFT owners for that team, then Fire NFT owners will collectively receive 40% of the team’s sale price.
Other NFT holder perks include strategy calls with Ice Cube, Kwatinetz, and NBA legend and BIG3 commissioner Clyde Drexler, as well as whitelisted access to NFT sales for future expansion/international teams who join the league.
The upstart league offers a different flavor of professional hoops with its 3-on-3 game, which it calls FIREBALL3, a faster-paced half-court game in which teams play to be first to 50 points. NBA alumni like Joe Johnson, Nate Robinson and Josh Smith are all set to play in the upcoming fifth season, which kicks off on June 18.
Ice Cube noted that the league airs on CBS in the United States and can be watched in over 40 countries. But the longtime entertainer, who rose to prominence in the 1980s as part of rap group NWA, also said building BIG3 is “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.