Pitch In For Ukraine: How Charitable NFT Projects Work & The Role Of The Fiscal Sponsor

Ukrainian Football Fan
Monday, 24 October 2022 By Stephen Taylor Heath, Jemma Fleetwood

The authors were instructed by the project coordinator of the Pitch In For Ukraine1 programme and campaigns in relation to rights licensing agreements with Ukrainian Premier League clubs including leading teams such as Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Dnipro and Metalist. The world-first initiative used digital collectibles to raise funds for President Volodymyr Zelensky’s United24 project which distributes critical funds for urgent life-saving charitable donations to Ukraine.

Money can be given from across the world and every donation provides critical life-saving care and recovery assistance for Ukrainian families. Donors receive a “Pixel of the Pitch2 NFT, representing virtual ownership of an individual 22cm square of part of a Ukrainian Premier League Stadium pitch (the exact size of a football), engraved with their name and edition number, as a unique piece of football history while providing urgent aid to Ukraine.

The project also meant assisting with the involvement of the overarching Charitable Foundation, the Kyiv School of Economics Foundation, as a ‘Fiscal Sponsor’. This entailed us making sure that parties achieve the charitable objectives of the Pitch In For Ukraine programme by facilitating the flow of proceeds from the sales of the Licensed Products on the transaction/currency platforms to the Shakhtar Foundation and other recipients of the proceeds.

This article explains how the NFT project was assembled from a legal perspective. Particular focus is given to the integration of the fiscal sponsor into the chain (a novelty for charitable NFT projects) and the consequent need to review and amend traditional rights and platform agreements. It examines:

The article assumes the reader understands what a non-fungible token (NFT) is. For readers requiring an introduction to NFTs, please see this LawInSport article first: How To Launch An NFT – Key Tips For Sports Organisations.3

Donations can still be made through the Pitch In For Ukraine website.

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Written by

Stephen Taylor Heath

Stephen Taylor Heath

Stephen is a Partner and Head of Sports Law at JMW.

Stephen is highly regarded by clients and his peers and currently ranked as a ‘Leading individual’ by Legal 500 in the TMT/Sports category. He is as an acknowledged expert in particular with regard to multi-jurisdictional broadcast agreements for major events and Ambassador agreements for high profile sports and media personalities. He is also noted for his work on constitutional and regulatory matters across several sports as well as his involvement in commercial initiatives to modernise the approach of several key sporting governing bodies such as the Royal & Ancient and British Boxing Board of Control.

Jemma Fleetwood

Jemma Fleetwood

Jemma is a solicitor in the Digital Disputes Team at JMW. Jemma has particular expertise and experience in digital asset disputes, including obtaining urgent injunctive relief where individuals or corporates have been subject to cryptocurrency fraud, misrepresentation claims and contractual disputes over cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

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