Crypto.com hires ex-ESPN Jeff Zeller to lead NFT Partnerships and Ops

Rick Steves

“NFTs have presented creators a tremendous opportunity to better engage with fans across an array of industries, but have been particularly successful in both the sports and entertainment arenas”.

Crypto.com has appointed Jeff Zeller as Senior Director of NFT Partnerships & Business Operations as part of the wave of sports and entertainment executives who have crossed over into the NFT industry.

Jeff Zeller joins Crypto.com from ESPN, where he was director of entertainment partnerships and marketing, and will take on his new role in the rapidly growing NFT business.

In his new role at Crypto.com NFT, Zeller will be reporting to Global Head of NFTs, Joe Conyers III, and will manage the launching and expanding of NFT programs with key strategic partners.

Crypto.com NFT platform features Snoop Dogg, UFC, Formula 1, Aston Martin

NFTs have become the latest fashion as it brings together two of the most popular worlds of today, crypto and fandom. Non fungible tokens allow creators, artists and athletes to leverage the blockchain technology to build new relationships with fans and drive new revenue streams.

The firm’s NFT platform was launched in March 2021 by former music industry executive Joe Conyers III. The venue has gained prominence with drops from the Philadelphia 76ers, Aston Martin, Formula 1, UFC, and Snoop Dogg.

Jeff Zeller, Senior Director of NFT Partnerships & Business Operations, said: “Joining Crypto.com NFT for me is the convergence of my personal interests as well as my career experience, and I’m grateful to Conyers, Gilad Rodkin, Steve Kalifowitz, Chris Yang and the rest of the organization for the opportunity. I’m excited to blend my experiences from Apple (iTunes) and ESPN together to build impactful NFT programs with our amazing and growing list of global partners.”

Joe Conyers III, EVP and Global Head of NFTs at Crypto.com, said: “NFTs have presented creators a tremendous opportunity to better engage with fans across an array of industries, but have been particularly successful in both the sports and entertainment arenas,” said Conyers, EVP and Global Head of NFTs at Crypto.com. “As the technology continues to evolve and mature, so too will its uses — and Jeff’s experience in both industries is the perfect blend to help Crypto.com NFT expand our partnerships and take the platform to the next level. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

At ESPN, Jeff Zeller managed the licensed merchandise business for the global sports network and worked on content properties like “The Last Dance” and “30 for 30″.

Prior to that, he worked at Apple as an early team member managing content partnerships for iTunes and worked at Sony Music Entertainment as an associate director of digital strategy and executive communication.

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Crypto.com to acquire Small Exchange and Nadex from IG Group

In late 2021, Crypto.com made a huge splash within the trading industry by acquiring the Small Exchange and North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) from IG Group.

Nadex is a retail-focused exchange offering many financial and derivatives products on some of the most heavily traded markets. The Small Exchange is a smaller, simpler platform offering derivatives focused on the United States.

The acquisition is expected to complete during the first half of 2022 which will then help Crypto.com in pushing through a variety of new derivatives products in the crypto market.

Both the acquired companies will come under the Crypto.com brand and Travis McGhee and Donald Roberts will remain as the CEO of Nadex and Small Exchange respectively even after the acquisition is completed.

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