German football club FC Bayern Munich is the latest sports entity to join Sorare’s blockchain collectibles network. The Bundesliga team is the 102nd entity to be licensed by the platform.
The Paris-based startup offers a global fantasy football game on blockchain through collectibles representing soccer players of the teams in the network. The purpose of the game is to create the best team of five collectibles in a tournament. The performance of each team is calculated by awarding points for players’ actual performance in live games. The team owner with the most points at the end of each tournament is awarded prizes in the form of collectibles or cryptocurrency Ether.
Sorare’s platform received funding from ConsenSys and others and is part of Ubisoft Entrepreneur Labs. It recently raised $4 million from previous investors and, among others, German World Cup winner André Schürrle.
Sorare’s blockchain solution is a network service. It gains value as more consumers use the platform and especially as more teams join the network. Having elite teams on its platform like Bayern Munich improves the quality of what the collectibles represent and makes the game’s experience more attractive to football fans and other potential consumers.
In June, the company announced it aimed to “double the football clubs under license by year-end” as a step towards reaching its larger goal to “sign with the top 20 football leagues in the world”. The platform already has impressive sports organizations in its network, such as Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid. However, it does not yet have a deal with a complete football league in Europe, although most of the teams on the platform are European. Sorare has a deal with the K-League, Korea’s football league.
From the football teams’ perspective, partnerships with blockchain collectible solutions like Sorare bring value to the organization by increasing fan engagement around the globe. It is particularly attractive to fans who cannot physically interact with teams in matches or directly access the team’s brand. With the Covid-19 pandemic, blockchain collectibles and other similar approaches to maintaining fans’ interest in team brands have gained momentum in football.
Sorare directly competes with London-based Fantastec, which has some of the biggest names in Football, including Real Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern’s rival Borussia Dortmund. Animoca Brands subsidiary Stryking, which is not limited to football, offers a similar service and also has a deal with FC Bayern Munich, among others.
It is worth noting that although blockchain firms have a competitive advantage if they are the only platform licensed with a team, many teams are not exclusive to a single platform. SO unless stated otherwise in contracts, they can partner with multiple entities to expand their scope.
Meanwhile, other blockchain startups in the sports sector include Socios with its tokenized player platform and Dapper Labs with tokenized collectibles.