Memphis Tigers Coach and Former NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway Joins Upstream as Strategic Brand Ambassador

Penny to join other athletes and public figures in offering NFTs as digital collectibles to their fans.

Welcome Penny Hardaway!

Penny Hardaway, alongside NFL and NBA Hall-of-Famers Edgerrin James and Dominique Wilkins, will help drive Upstream’s trailblazing sports initiative which provides professional and college athletes a streamlined entry point into Web3 community-building and brand longevity.

The advantages that NFTs provide athletes

Professional athletes are beginning to realize the benefits of integrating Web3 NFTs into their personal brand-building strategies. Utilizing Upstream’s NFT methodology, NFTs are being leveraged to increase fan engagement, enhance fan experiences, and provide potential new revenue streams that may be used to support athletes’ careers, ventures, or charitable initiatives.

What makes Upstream the best medium for athletes to enter the NFT market?

Upstream has created a seamless, user-friendly experience for athletes to enter the NFT space and engage with their fans. Upstream doesn’t require any prior blockchain or technical know-how, and the app makes it simple for athletes to create NFTs, and really easy for fans to purchase NFTs, redeem NFTs, or claim free airdropped NFTs directly from their phones.

Upstream differentiators:

  • Upstream is a regulated NFT marketplace equipped to protect brands and their fans while enabling everyday fans to participate without any blockchain knowledge needed.
  • Upstream’s simplifies the users NFT journey with in-app wallet creation, no blockchain gas-fees for users, and funding methods including PayPal, debit and credit card, and USDC stablecoin.
  • As a cash market, athletes withdraw NFT proceeds without worrying about converting cryptocurrency into US dollars. Athletes may withdraw funds immediately after sale to fuel their careers and enjoy continued fan engagement through fans’ secondary trading.
  • Upstream is 100% carbon neutral with its own solar “field” for cryptocurrency mining whose yield pays for our Ethereum layer-2 rollup-transactions to Ethereum mainnet.

Concluding thoughts

We’re excited to have Penny Hardaway join our growing community of sports, music, and entertainment heavyweights including NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, NFL Hall of Famer Edgerrin James, Antrel Rolle, Beatclub/Timbaland, BRON Studios, Ruffnation Entertainment, and more.

About Upstream

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange enables investors to trade shares in IPOs, NFTs, U.S., and international dual-listed equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app Interested issuers can reach the team at

About MERJ

MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. Visit to learn more.

About Horizon

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at


* Upstream NFTs do not entitle the holder to royalties, equity ownership, voting rights, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, resale, and display only.



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A MERJ Exchange Market. Ethereum-powered exchange for digital securities and NFTs