Non-fungible token (NFT) fantasy football platform Sorare has partnered with the top soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer (MLS). Prior to the partnership, Sorare already had deals with most teams in the league.
All MLS players will have a digital collectible card on Sorare’s platform, which will become MLS’s official NFT fantasy game as part of the sponsorship. The presence of all players on the platform will likely make the game more engaging for MLS followers, and the official association with the league can bring in new fans who were unfamiliar with the platform.
Sorare’s main product, an NFT fantasy soccer game, enables users to create a weekly line-up of five players to go against other teams. The performance of the weekly line-ups depends on the players’ actual relative performance in games throughout the week, and the top scorers win some monetary rewards. Sorare’s revenues come from the sale of the player cards, which are scarce and need to be purchased to be used on line-ups, and royalties from secondary market trades.
Besides signing with top soccer teams in Europe, Sorare has managed to sign a series of teams around the world, many from leagues that do not have a large following outside of their country.
Following a league-wide partnership with LaLiga and the inclusion of most top European teams, Sorare opened its first office in the U.S. at the end of last year. While the American continent as a whole is fanatical about soccer, the U.S. is not necessarily the center of the action for this particular sport. The MLS ranks fifth in domestic league following and soccer itself ranks fifth in popularity.
Besides increasing the number of teams to 32, MLS’s strategy to generate more interest in the league was to bring in renowned international players. This has made the league become known as the “retirement league” as players leave Europe for the MLS at the late stages of their careers. More recently, there’s a perception that teams sell their top domestic talent to European clubs, which fans have not welcomed.
A partnership with Sorare might increase the league’s exposure alongside top European clubs, attracting global soccer fans’ attention.
As for Sorare, the platform is still in the battle for NFT rights with the Premier League, although rumors indicate it’s not a front runner. The MLS deal can contribute to its positioning as a dominant brand in the soccer NFT industry.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams joined Sorare’s advisory board, as evidence that Sorare is looking to expand its range of sports. The platform also partnered with Homa Games for NFT based mobile football games and added video features in its partnership with Bundesliga.