Upland, the NFLPA and OneTeam Partners to Bring Football Players into the NFT Metaverse

NFL players are the first group of athletes to mint NFTs and engage with fans inside one of the fastest-growing platforms on the blockchain




PALO ALTO, CA and WASHINGTON D.C. – January 25, 2022Upland, a thriving metaverse economy and gaming ecosystem, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and OneTeam Partners have jointly announced a new deal to trailblaze the future of fan engagements and extend the real-life identities of 2,000+ active NFL players into the expanding Upland NFT metaverse.

To kick off the momentous deal, NFL players are now part of Upland’s new generation of interactive NFTs – Upland Legits – which incorporate stunning 3D designs optimized for the mobile fan experience. NFL players are the first athletes to mint Legits on the Upland blockchain.

“NFLPA Legits are not just next-generation collectible NFTs, but also offer fans a gamified way to engage with their favorite players,” said Idan Zuckerman, Co-Founder of Upland. “Fans can now play and compete to mint one-of-a-kind, official Player NFTs prior to actual football games, and then go root for their players and see how their performance will affect the final NFT that they scored!”

Through Upland’s platform, passionate communities of fans – called Uplanders – can now buy virtual properties, fan items and other digital goods which can be traded with other fans or sold in U.S. dollars. Upland’s first Legits sold out within hours and are proving to be a success with Uplanders. As the NFL season matures and approaches the Playoffs, the excitement around NFLPA Legits and the performance of favorite players will increase as Uplanders compete to get NFTs from their favorite and high performing players first. The new Legit NFTs add layers of gamification through collections, location-based minting events, burn/merge mechanics, and other unique interactions with professional football players such as virtual autograph signings. Interested football fans can learn more about the gameplay and how to sign up at www.upland.me/nflpa.

“The metaverse represents the powerful convergence of gaming, NFTs, athlete influencers and a highly engaged community, NFL Players are delivering unparalleled authenticity through Upland's must-have NFTs,” said Terése Whitehead, Vice President, Consumer Products & Strategy at NFL Players Inc. the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA.

OneTeam Partners, the group licensing partner of the NFLPA leading their digital media business, facilitated the deal. “The Upland team has built a truly compelling value proposition with their version of the real-world metaverse,” said Joshua Valensi, Vice President, Product Development (Games) at OneTeam. “It provides fans with new and unique kinds of engagement experiences around collectible NFTs and virtual locations.”

Driven by its mantra – “Rebuild the World” – Upland is revolutionizing the current model of fan engagement. Until now, fans have only been able to engage with their favorite players via likes, shares, or comments on social media while on NFT marketplaces, player interaction is generally limited to buying and selling of digital assets.

Upland is available to download for free on iOS, Android and the Web, and can be played from anywhere in the world. Upland Legits soon will exist inside Upland virtual homes and apartments as either inanimate or interactive 3D objects.



Upland (https://upland.me/) is a metaverse that sits on top of the real world, allowing users to buy, sell and trade virtual properties that are mapped to actual addresses. Upland follows the principles of an open market economy, using blockchain technology to ensure true ownership of digital assets (NFTs). Upland is available on iOS, Android and the Web, and can be played from anywhere in the world. For more information about Upland and sustainability can be found at https://www.upland.me/sustainability.


Formed in November 2019, OneTeam Partners is a joint venture between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), MLB Players Association (MLBPA) and RedBird Capital Partners. OneTeam helps athletes maximize the value of their name, image and likeness rights by transforming the way in which athletes interact with businesses across four verticals: licensing, marketing, content and investing. OneTeam represents a range of commercial business interests on behalf of the NFLPA, MLBPA, Major League Soccer PA, U.S. Women’s National Team PA, WNBPA, and U.S. Rugby PA.

The National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 NFL season.

NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, connects businesses to the power of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. creates customized business solutions for partners, through licensing, marketing strategy and player activations. For more information, please visit nflpa.com/players.


Upland: Mike Paffman, Paff PR, mike@virgopr.com and Cathy Hackl, Upland, cathy.h@upland.me

NFLPA and OneTeam: david@mvppr.com