JJIF signs new deal with EX Sports to allow Ju-Jitsu athletes to publish NFTs

The Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) has signed a new deal with Dubai-based digital collectible platform EX Sports to allow Ju-Jitsu athletes to mint and publish their very own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the newly established EX Sports marketplace.

According to EX Sports, 50 percent of athletes expressed their desire to create their own NFTs at the recent JJIF World Championships. Fans who sign up with the platform will be able to access a free live stream of the World Championships.

EX Sports is also a partner of Smash Mountain Studios, the creators of the first Ju-Jitsu video game, BeJJ: Jiu-Jitsu Game. It has over 400,000 downloads and continues to attract thousands of players daily. EX Sports and Smash Mountain Studios will organize the Ju-Jitsu eSports League in 2023 ahead of the 2023 World Combat Games in Saudi Arabia.

EX Sports will also convert the game from Web2 to Web3 technology. The gold medalists from this year’s Ju-Jitsu 2022 World Championship will be in-game characters in the game’s next version, due in 2023. A special NFT series based on the game is also scheduled to be released soon.

The NFT project is not their first foray into the virtual world together. EX Sports and the JJIF reached an agreement in 2019 to launch collectible digital cards, enabling over one million JJIF athletes to create virtual merchandise.

“The vision of EX Sports is to connect these two digital assets in a way that will increase the value of the collectible cards,” EX Sports co-founder Seth Fishman said.

More about EX Sports

EX Sports launched its NFT sports marketplace, marketplace.ex-sports.io, earlier this year. Fans can use the platform to buy and sell autographed football NFTs of their favorite athletes in various sports.

EX Sports announced in May that a one-of-a-kind Urbanball NFT collection would be released on Binance NFT in December 2022. Built on BNB Chain, Urbanball, the world’s first play-to-earn street football mobile game, allows players to collect NFT character cards.

Each card features one of the world’s best street footballers. The first drop features three UK-based players — The 10-year-old blind football star Mikey Poulli, Under Armour brand ambassador Radheya Marca and Dubai Urbanball UK Finals winner Amin Zahhar.

“EX Sports was developed with the aim to support niche sports, staying away from football and others that are already mainstream,” founder and CEO Toli Makris said. “However, we discovered street football is also a niche that has millions of athletes who have been overlooked by football federations and governing bodies.”

Urbanball is a part of the platform’s effort to give underdog athletes exposure and income opportunities they would not have otherwise. Featured players receive a significant portion of the NFT sales proceeds. For every NFT of an athlete sold on its marketplace, the athlete is eligible for 80 percent of the revenue.

EX Sports already has some big names on its platorm. In November 2021, EX Sports released the world’s first Official Diego Maradona NFT Collection. Last year, it worked with French freestyle footballer and social media celebrity Séan Garnier to develop the world’s first freestyle football NFTs.