Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux launched his own cryptocurrency Thursday, the latest in a string of unique business opportunities he has entered into since changes to the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rules arrived in July.
The coin ($JREAM) will be traded exclusively on Rally, which describes itself as a platform for creators to build their own digital economies.
“I feel like crypto is such a new space and having an athlete involve in it kind of changes the dynamic of how athletes are viewed,” Thibodeaux told ESPN. “I started looking at crypto in high school and seeing the future in crypto and how far it can go — this was the next step in starting my future.”
The initial price of Thibodeaux’s coin is expected to be less than a dollar, with roughly 100,000 in circulation at launch. There are plans for 21 million coins to enter circulation, with their release schedule dictated by demand.
The coin shares a name with the Jream Foundation, which Thibodeaux founded to help provide more opportunities for youth in disadvantaged circumstances. Twenty percent of the initial release is expected to be allotted to the foundation.
Those who buy the coin will enter into a shared online community, including a gated Discord, and have access to exclusive merchandise. The more of the coin individuals own, the more benefits they will have — a lot of which will be determined over time. Thibodeaux is forming plans for how to gift coins and engage with the community.
“We’re thrilled to see young athletes exploring the ways in which crypto can facilitate deeper connections with fans,” Rally’s VP of partnerships, Nick Millman, said in a statement. “Innovators like Kayvon are reinventing how athletes and fans interact.”
Thibodeaux, a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the NCAA’s NIL rule changes.
In July, he announced a nonfungible token (NFT) deal with Nike founder Phil Knight and designer Tinker Hatfield involving a piece of artwork.
A canvas version of that artwork was recently auctioned on eBay, fetching a $22,200 winning bid. The auction’s winner will also be issued some of Thibodeaux’s coin.
“I didn’t even really realize how much it would go for. I had no idea,” Thibodeaux said. “We started it at $500. So for it to go up to 20,000 [dollars] was kind of crazy to me.”
Last month, he announced a deal with United Airlines in which he partnered with the carrier to provide direct flights from Eugene, Oregon, to specific away games this season. He also has marketing deals with PlantFuel and Starface, which are plant-based protein and skincare companies, and signed a six-figure private memorabilia deal, according to a source.
Thibodeaux suffered an ankle injury in the Ducks’ season-opening win against Fresno State and did not play the past two games against Ohio State and Stony Brook. He is considered game-time decision for Saturday’s Pac-12 opener against Arizona.
The Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last year, Thibodeaux arrived at Oregon as one of the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2019.