Sorare, a Paris-based NFT (non-fungible token) fantasy game startup, has closed a deal with the Premier League, the first soccer division in the U.K., to make teams and players of the league part of its roster. According to reports, the multi-year agreement involves payments of tens of millions of pounds per year to the league.
Sorare Includes Premier League in Its Platform
Sorare, a Paris-based fantasy NFT game startup, has closed a deal with the soccer Premier League of the U.K. to use its likenesses as part of its gaming platform. Users of the app will be able to build their own teams featuring players and teams of the aforementioned league. With this agreement, Sorare boasts five of the most important European leagues on its platform, including the first division of soccer in Spain, the Spanish Laliga.
While the NFT model has faced several difficulties due to the downturn of the cryptocurrency market, Sorare allows anyone to list players as part of their fantasy teams without having to purchase their collectibles in a free-to-play game mode. Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia explained that many players have migrated to this game mode, as 87% of the players don’t spend money on the platform.
Julia explained that the platform relies on the transactions of high-power NFT users to be profitable, as unique collectibles are still available on the platform.
The deal reportedly had to be maintained in secret because the Premier League was also negotiating with other platforms with similar agreements. According to Sky News, the deal will be replacing another partnership, with Consensys, an Ethereum software company that had been dropped last year.
While there have been no official announcements on numbers, Financial Times reported that the deal involves the payment of “tens of millions of pounds per year,” with each payment being dependent on the performance of the app. The deal also allows the Premier League to take a stake in the fantasy startup.
Sorare experienced significant growth in 2021, raising $680 million in September as part of its Series B funding round that was led by Softbank. At that time, the company reached a valuation of more than $4 billion.
In September last year, the company announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to launch an NFT-based game featuring players and teams from the league. Also, in November, Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi became an investor and ambassador of the Sorare brand.
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