Fantasy sports platform Sorare has entered into a partnership with the NBA and National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) to launch a fantasy basketball game that will be released when the NBA 2022-23 season begins. This high profile collaboration is characteristic of the Softbank-backed company’s rapid growth, having raised $680 million as part of the biggest Series B funding round in Europe last year.
The game called ‘Sorare: NBA’ will allow players to build the basketball team of their dreams by purchasing NFTs of NBA players. Fans will collect points based on the actual performance of the players featured on their digital collectibles.
“With Sorare’s emerging NFT fantasy platform, we see significant opportunities to broaden our community of fans and grow NBA basketball around the world,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Notably for Sorare, this launch marks its third major partnership with a national sports league in the US, following deals with MLB and MLS earlier this year. In addition, it has partnerships with many prestigious football leagues such as La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, as well as football clubs including AS Roma, Liverpool FC and Bayern Munich.
While this deal makes Sorare the NBA’s Official NFT Fantasy Partner, it is not the league’s only official partner. Sports betting and fantasy game site DraftKings is also a fantasy game partner.
Sorare has been virtually unchallenged in the Web3 fantasy sports space. However, DraftKings announced a fantasy football game with the NFL Players’ Association last December, which went live recently. With a market capitalization of $7 billion, DraftKings has partnerships with most of the major U.S. sports leagues or player associations, including the MLB. Plus it has a collaboration with Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph. Hence, DraftKings will continue to compete with Sorare in the future.
Regardless, the NBA fantasy game has the potential to open significant revenue streams for Sorare. Considering how the NBA’s collaboration with Dapper Labs on NBA Top Shot was a major catalyst for the explosion of the NFT sector and the game’s cumulative transactions of more than $1 billion, Sorare is counting on NBA fans to flock to the game.