As previously rumored, today the Premier League confirmed it signed a four-year deal for a blockchain-based fantasy football game Sorare. While game participation is free, the players that make up the fantasy team are represented by collectible NFT player cards. Some of these cards are free, but the most desirable ones can be pricey. As with other NFTs, the player cards are tradable.
This is the Premier League’s first major blockchain announcement. Last year there were rumors that it would ink deals for player collectible NFTs with ConsenSys and video moments with Dapper Labs. In October, Sky news reported that ConsenSys tried to renegotiate its deal, opening the door for Sorare with a rumored £30 million ($34m) a year contract. However, that figure was before the collapse of FTX.
Sorare has deals with 300 organizations, including the MLB and NBA. It started out in soccer and has launched official games with Spain’s LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A and MLS. It already has several deals with individual Premier League clubs.
The blockchain startup was founded in 2018 in France and raised a $680 million funding round led by Softbank in 2021. In November, it came to an agreement with the French National Gambling Authority (ANJ) to open up more aspects of the game to free users.