Big3, the US professional three-on-three basketball league co-founded by rapper Ice Cube, has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange platform MoonPay for the sales of ownership stakes in its teams.

The league announced last month (April) that stakes would be made available by way of 12,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs), 1,000 for each of its 12 teams priced at $5,000 each for 975 ‘Gold’ editions and $25,000 each for 25 ‘Fire’ editions.

The NFTs were released over the weekend – on Saturday to some members of the league’s Discord channel and on Sunday to the general public.

Through its partnership with the Big3, MoonPay is facilitating all payments for purchases of the NFTs via credit and debit cards; Apple, Google, or Samsung Pay; or bank transfers.

Ivan Soto-Wright, co-founder and chief executive of MoonPay, said: “Web3 is radically changing the way we approach the business of sports, and Big3 is helping to lead the way. This is the beginning of a creator economy renaissance. We're honored to work with Big3 to help onboard the world to Web3.”

Jeff Kwatinetz, co-founder of Big3, added: “We are excited to partner with MoonPay on our trailblazing ownership stake opportunity for fans to join. MoonPay makes buying NFTs easier for everyone and they will be a tremendous resource for our NFT Drop this weekend. I hope this excites all fans to get in on the action.”

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A number of high-profile purchases of the Big3’s ownership NFTs have already been confirmed.

Perhaps most notably, rapper Snoop Dogg and PayPal co-founder Ken Howery have partnered to buy the 25 Fire-tier editions of the Bivouac team.

Elsewhere, entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk has agreed to purchase the 25 Fire-tier editions of the Triplets team, Craft Ventures co-founder and MyDoge founding chairman Bill Lee has agreed to buy those of the Aliens team, and decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) Krause House has agreed to purchase those of the Ball Hogs team.

Meanwhile, the Big3 has appointed Digital Mind State, a Black-owned creative agency, to provide marketing, sponsorship, and other business support services for the upcoming fifth season, which begins on June 18 with live coverage across the CBS network and the Paramount+ streaming service.

MoonPay was recently named as the official crypto and NFT partner to FaZe Clan, the prominent US esports operation.

Chris Hannan, chief executive of the Big3, said: “We are excited for Digital Mind State to be supporting us this season. The fifth season of our league will be our biggest season yet and having support from a company that has created business processes with link blockchain technology will help us reach our goals as we dive more into that space.”

Mike Johns, founder of Digital Mind State, added: “This partnership reflects the bold action by Big3 commitment to advance the game of basketball while providing a platform for businesses of all sizes, Black-owned and woman-owned companies to connect with consumers.”