A single edition non-fungible token (NFT) trading card of legendary football player Cristiano Ronaldo will be minted by Sorare and sold through auction house Bonhams. The auction will run until November 11, with an estimated final price between $800,000 and $1.2 million.
Sorare has made a name for itself by developing a fantasy football project on blockchain. The game works very similarly to traditional fantasy games where fans collect players. In Sorare’s case, players are represented by NFT cards which are used to create a weekly lineup with the outcome determined by the players’ actual performance on the field. There is an opportunity to earn money because Sorare awards ETH cryptocurrency to top performances, and fans can also trade the cards at a profit on the app’s marketplace.
This is the first time that Sorare has been involved in an auction of this scale. Until now, all cards used to build the line-ups have been launched directly on Sorare’s marketplace and sold at a standard pre-determined starting price. High priced sales have been a result of fans trading.
Now with Bonhams, Sorare is looking to announce the company to a very different audience compared to thus far.
The auction winner will still be able to use it for Sorare’s fantasy game. However, that is likely not the selling point of this initiative. The card is officially licensed by Ronaldo and his 2020/2021 season team, Juventus. The season has already ended, and Ronaldo transferred to Premier League team Manchester United. Therefore the card’s relevance in the game is very limited.
In addition, both Juventus and Manchester United are also on Sorare’s roster, so Ronaldo’s cards of both teams are circulating on the marketplace. This highlights how Sorare is looking to target a new market that is not just interested in the fantasy game aspect of its offering.
“Sports trading cards have been valued and collected for over a century, (…). Sorare presents us with the natural evolution of this format, a fantasy trading card game in digital form with cards that accrue rewards,” said Nima Sagharchi, Bonhams’ Head of Digital Art. “Bonhams has always aimed to push boundaries in our sales and to be the first auction house to offer an NFT of this kind is a very exciting prospect, particularly as this NFT is of the great Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Meanwhile, Sorare’s has been expanding beyond auctions. The company raised $680 million at a $4.3 billion valuation and recently signed a partnership with the whole LaLiga series. In partnership with Bundesliga, Sorare will launch highlight video moments as NFTs, similar to Dapper Labs’ product with the NBA. It is also looking to enter the NFT market for traditional card collections with legendary football player cards.