LeBron James and his foundation announced a new partnership with Crypto.com that will see the company offer educational opportunities centered around Web3.
Crypto.com is just one week out from a devastating hack that saw more than $31 million stolen from about 500 users. The company faced significant backlash from its users over how it responded to the incident.
But on Friday, the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) said it would be working with Crypto.com to provide students and families connected to the I PROMISE program with "access to the tools and educational resources needed to participate and succeed in building Web3."
"Blockchain technology is revolutionizing our economy, sports and entertainment, the art world, and how we engage with one another. I want to ensure that communities like the one I come from are not left behind," James said in a statement.
"Crypto.com and I are aligned on the need to educate and support my community with the information and tools they need for inclusion. I'm looking forward to working with them to bring these opportunities to my community."
Through the LJFF and his I Promise program, James has sought to increase the educational opportunities for people in Akron and across Ohio. James is in the process of building a new multi-use space called House Three Thirty, which will provide I PROMISE participants with a variety of opportunities.
Crypto.com will give I PROMISE participants "a strong foundation in Web3 and the innovations behind blockchain-based decentralized applications powering the future of many sectors from finance to media to art."
Web3 is a still-developing idea for a third generation of the web that is being designed to revolve around blockchain technology.
James told the Akron Beacon Journal that it is important for him to continue opening doors for underprivileged kids in Akron "especially when it comes to Web3 and our digital future." Crypto.com will provide in-person and virtual experts that will teach the more than 1,000 I PROMISE participants about Web3 and other technology concepts.
"Blockchain technology is revolutionizing our economy, sports and entertainment, the art world, and how we engage with one another. I want to ensure that communities like the one I come from are not left behind. Crypto.com and I are aligned on the need to educate and support my community with the information and tools they need for inclusion. I'm looking forward to working with them to bring these opportunities to my community," James told the newspaper.
Crypto.com recently signed a 20-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers -- the team James plays for -- to take over the naming rights of the famed Staples Arena. The company has been increasing its media buys in recent months, running ads with actor Matt Damon during several high-profile NFL events over the last three weeks.
Crypto.com is one of many crypto projects signing deals with big-name athletes. NFL star Rob Gronkowski partnered with crypto platform Voyager while teammate Tom Brady and NBA star Steph Curry signed deals with crypto derivatives exchange FTX.
"LeBron James and his foundation have been pioneers in truly transforming the lives of those in his community through education and our partnership is based on a true alignment of values," said Kris Marszalek, CEO of Crypto.com. "We couldn't be more proud to join LJFF in providing opportunities to increase educational and workforce development while delivering the tools and access that will empower the next generation to build a better and more inclusive future."