Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, a potential No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, has struck his first known NIL deal on a nonfungible token (NFT) with Nike founder Phil Knight and celebrated sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield.
Thibodeaux revealed the NFT on social media Tuesday night.
"Life is filled with many trials and tribulations, but God has guided my steps and provided me with great opportunities AND the clarity to navigate them with wisdom and integrity," Thibodeaux wrote on Twitter. "It holds true that God brings people in your life for a reason and I've been so fortunate to have both Phil Knight, creator of Nike, and Tinker Hatfield, Designer of some of the most popular Air Jordans, believe in me and my prophecy. I'm honored to announce my first collaboration with Phil Knight -- the Kayvon Thibodeaux Art piece, created by Tinker Hatfield, inspired by my success on the field."
Knight is a longtime donor to Oregon athletics and the university. On Tuesday, the school announced a second $500 million donation from Knight and his wife toward the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.
Hatfield, who is also an Oregon alumnus, is Nike's vice president for design and special projects. He designed Air Jordan 3 through Air Jordan 15 and later editions.
"The art is completely hand-drawn on my iPad using Sketchbook Pro," Hatfield said of the Thibodeaux NFT. "He's an extraordinarily large and quick athlete with game-changing ability. I hope I captured his athleticism and the impact he's made for the University of Oregon."
Thibodeaux, the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2019 and a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last season, is rated the No. 1 prospect for the 2022 NFL draft by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.