Remember Naomi Osaka‘s NFT project launched in April? The tennis star has since become an advocate for mental health in sports and one of her non-fungible tokens will be resold, with a portion of the proceeds going to Athletes for Hope, an organization founded in 2007 by high-profile athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, Jeff Gordon, Warrick Dunn, Alonzo Mourning and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Auction projected to set record for single NFT sale by a professional athlete
The first five pieces from the art collection that Naomi Osaka created together with her sister Mari were collectively sold for nearly $600,000, with one piece bringing in more than $200,000.
The sixth and final Osaka NFT was offered in a public raffle, and now the raffle’s winner is putting the artwork up for sale through a global auction. The artwork is titled “Finding what was lost” and it is said to be Osaka’s favorite. The silent auction, available for anyone in the world to bid on, opened at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, July 26. Interested parties can place a bid here.
A portion of the proceeds from the Osaka NFT sale will be donated to Athletes for Hope. The donation will be funneled directly to the non-profit organization’s recently-launched initiative, Whole Being Athlete, aimed at raising awareness about mental health and supporting athletes around the world.
“Now more than ever, athletes are struggling with their mental health. With 1-in-5 people being diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s become the number one requested cause from our athlete network for advocacy, connection and support,” said Athletes for Hope COO, Jason Belinkie. “Through her bravery, Naomi Osaka has ignited necessary conversations all over the world about the importance of athlete mental health. We are honored to be able to continue this vital work in the mental health space via the funds this NFT will generate.”
Osaka’s NFTs were created on the environmentally-conscious Flow blockchain, which is the same blockchain that produces NBA Top Shot’s non-fungible tokens.
The NFT sales record for an athlete was set last week when boxer Tyson Fury sold a single-edition piece for $987,000.