Blockchain-based fantasy football platform Sorare has announced a league-wide non-fungible token (NFT) partnership with the German football league, Bundesliga, that extends to the first and second divisions. This is the second substantial league deal that Sorare has landed, following Spain’s LaLiga last month. In a major business expansion, it will also offer video moments for matches as NFTs.
Until now, Sorare’s focus area was fantasy football with more than 200 team partnerships. Fans purchase players’ cards minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and use them to create a weekly lineup for fantasy games where the outcome is based on the player’s actual performance on the field. Fan line ups compete against each other and Sorare rewards top performers with cryptocurrency ETH. Users can also trade the cards and participate in more collector-like behavior.
The fact that Sorare’s offer was so entrenched in the fantasy football rhetoric as opposed to NFTs and blockchain meant it perhaps wasn’t perceived as a competitor to some emerging sports NFT platforms. That’s despite its global presence and unicorn valuation – it just raised $680 million in funding. The Bundesliga partnership changes things.
Kickstarting video moments
In addition to the traditional player’s cards that can be used on Sorare’s app, the company will also begin minting video highlights (moments) of the games as NFTs and enable users to trade them on the platform. That’s very similar to Dapper Labs’ main product NBA Top Shot.
It is unclear whether Sorare also tried to land a moments deal with LaLiga. Because the Spanish league recently a signed fantasy card partnership with Sorare but announced an agreement with Dapper Labs for LaLiga game highlights.
In terms of sheer numbers, NFT player cards limit the revenue that Sorare can make from the direct sale of digital assets. To maintain the value of the product, the cards need to be scarce and there are only so many players in a club. The addition of moments to Sorare’s portfolio considerably expands its revenue opportunities because every player can be involved in several moments.
“Germany usually attracts the highest average attendance in football stadiums. It is football as it’s meant to be, where fans engage with their favorite players and club each weekend. We’re thrilled to allow Bundesliga fans in Germany and globally to come together online and to feel ownership of the sports they love.” said Sorare’s CEO Nicolas Julia. “The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world, home to some of the most exciting clubs and footballers on earth. We are very proud to partner with them to launch our first NFT Moments – we are building the future of fandom together.”
At the end of September, Sorare also announced the launch of a collection of legendary football players who are no longer active in the sport. This collection moves away from Sorare’s fantasy football specialism and competes with other offers that target iconic athletes’ intellectual property.
Meanwhile, Dapper is also making solid moves in the industry. It landed a deal with the NFL for minting highlights as NFTs and closed an additional $205 million funding round at a reported $7.5 billion valuation.