Today’s guest columnist is Al Tylis, owner of Club Necaxa in Liga MX.
By way of a little background, I was born in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk specifically) and my family still has friends there. Like many folks, I’ve been struggling to process everything going on in Ukraine, constantly feeling helpless, sad, and angry, often all three at the same time. I’ve donated money and rented airbnbs, but I still feel like I need to do more.
If not for a single decision by my parents to immigrate to the United States when I was a child, I could easily be on the front lines of arguably the most horrific event of most of our lifetimes. Instead, with the support of so many (including a variety of not-for-profit organizations), coupled with plenty of good fortune and hard work, I now live in New York City and have the privilege of being a professional sports team owner, most recently acquiring Club Necaxa in Liga MX. I beg to differ with those that say the “American Dream” is dead.
Necaxa has made a concerted effort to innovate in the crypto and blockchain space, having created the first NFT tied to an ownership interest in a professional sports team, and was the first team to “ape in” to the Bored Ape Yacht Club. While it’s been interesting and fun, and I love the community that’s been built around the BAYC, Necaxa has decided to auction our Bored Ape and donate 100% of the proceeds to organizations that support Ukrainian refugees. You can find details on the auction here.
You might be wondering why we are donating the Bored Ape, rather than just donating the dollar equivalent (likely around $300,000 today). Simply, I want to further galvanize those in the incredibly vibrant NFT community that have been contributing in support of Ukraine, and I want to get the attention of other sports teams around the world to do more.
Sports teams have a unique way of bringing people together and, I believe, have a moral obligation to not only stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, but also to use their significant financial and other resources to help the people of Ukraine.
I am realistic in terms of what this and hopefully other donations can achieve, but sitting back and watching while so many innocent people are suffering is just not something I can do. This is our small way of helping. Please consider how you can help as well.
Al Tylis is a former CEO of NorthStar Asset Management Group (NYSE: NSAM), an owner and co-chairman of Club Necaxa, and an owner and board member of the New Zealand Breakers and G2 Esports. He and his wife, Kate, co-founded the Tylis Family Foundation, which seeks to make a positive impact in the lives of children and their families. Al also serves as vice chairman of Project Sunshine, which provides services and events for over 150,000 pediatric patients facing medical challenges.