The UK’s Premier League football is on the brink of signing a £30 million ($34m) a year deal with web3 NFT fantasy sports platform Sorare, Sky News reported last night. Sorare sells static player image NFTs that are used as part of a fantasy sports team selection. The major football teams have a call today to discuss the deal.
The news confirmed that the Premier League had originally settled on deals with ConsenSys for static picture NFTs, and Dapper Labs, presumably for video moment NFTs. Dapper provides video moment platforms for the NBA, NFL, UFC and La Liga.
Earlier this year, Sorare and Candy Digital had been cut from the final consideration. However, following the crypto crash and dramatic fall in NFT prices, Sky News claims that ConsenSys attempted to renegotiate its deal, resulting in the Premier League reopening discussions with Sorare. However, the fantasy sports startup was recently investigated by the UK Gambling Commission.
The Premier League has suffered for not committing to deals sooner. Earlier this year, the rights value over four years was estimated to be between £220 million and £434 million.
While ConsenSys has a wide range of web3 interests, Sorare is focused entirely on fantasy sports. The French company raised a $680 million Series B funding led by Softbank. Although ConsenSys raised a similar amount – $650 million – in two funding rounds in late 2021 and early 2022.
Sorare started by signing up individual football clubs, including from the Premier League, and now has contracts with numerous leagues. A Premier League agreement would mean Sorare has a straight flush of soccer leagues adding to its deals with La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and MLS.
The French startup has now expanded beyond football, following deals with the MLB and NBA and rumors of a PGA Tour collaboration.
The NBA game launched last week, signing up 100,000 new and existing Sorare players, 90% of whom are outside the United States. That’s consistent with its MLB Sorare game, where 85% of the 400,000 players are outside the U.S.