In an emerging trend of uniting professional sports with fintech, this week, Colombian football superstar James David Rodríguez Rubio signed a strategic partnership agreement with ZKSea to launch a collection of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) celebrating his outstanding contribution to the sport.

After a star-studded career spanning three continents and scoring goals for and against some of the world’s greatest teams, Rodríguez is looking to commemorate more than a decade of his football career as a digital art collection. The “James Rodríguez Commemorative Edition” NFT collection of 1,500 unique pieces will be available for minting on ZKSea as auction and mystery boxes around mid-June.

ZKSea is offering a whitelist scheme to early birds that help co-build the ZKSea community with lower prices and pre-minting benefits.

The exclusive partnership between Rodríguez and ZKSea marks the athlete’s first entrance into the world of NFTs and a key moment in his professional career. The collection will also be one of the early major drops on the all-new ZKSea NFT launchpad and marketplace. ZKSea is a key pillar in the emerging ZKSpace zk-Rollups-powered, layer-2 (L2) ecosystem and provides users with a unique experience for creating, minting and trading NFTs without high gas fees.

Rodríguez said:

“I am so excited to be partnering with ZKSpace to launch my commemorative edition NFT collection. The entire process of organizing this and looking back over the highlights of my career has made me very grateful for the journey I’ve been on so far, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to start celebrating my legacy in style.”

The 1,500 unique NFTs to make up the “James Rodríguez Commemorative Edition” collection each come with photo highlights of key achievements in Rodríguez’s career as four rarity tiers based on rarity — platinum, gold, silver and bronze. These achievements include his appearance for Colombia at the 2014 World Cup in Uruguay, receiving the 2014-15 Liga BBVA Best Midfielder award and other memorable moments from his time with the Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Everton football clubs. In addition to the images, owners of higher-ranked pieces will receive signed memorabilia and the chance to video call with Rodríguez himself.

As one of the first major NFT collections, NBA Top Shot popularized the digital trading-card model for professional sports. Since then, several leading sports organizations, teams and individual athletes have launched their own NFT collections to better connect with fans and reward them. NFT collections can help athletes identify their hardcore fans and assist in fostering community around their sport. With a long, successful career, Rodríguez has attracted many online fans — 49 million Instagram followers and 19 million on Twitter — all supporting his legacy. The “James Rodríguez Commemorative Edition” NFT collection is an opportunity for these supporters to be involved as part of an exclusive fan community.

Following a massive rebranding campaign, ZKSpace was launched as a full-featured L2 protocol, using zk-Rollups technology to provide users with an ultra-fast, inexpensive, and secure way to transact on L2.

ZKSpace currently supports three core products: the ZKSwap automated market maker decentralized exchange, ZKSquare, a low-cost L2 payment protocol, and ZKSea, the first zk-Rollups-based platform supporting layer-1-to-L2 mutual NFT transfers.

Due to the low cost and user-friendly design, ZKSpace is lowering the entry barrier for new blockchain users. Moving forward, it will concentrate on attracting exceptional projects and innovators to grow the ecosystem together.

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