- Sorare has more than 3m users in 180 countries
- Others deals include LaLiga, NBA, MLB
- Deal reported to be worth UK£30m
The Premier League joins Sorare with immediate effect, with the company adding new game modes, including league-specific, draft-based and ‘capped-mode’ competitions.
The partnership means Sorare now has four of the ‘big five’ European soccer leagues on its platform, complementing deals with LaLiga, Bundesliga, and Serie A, and the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS).
Sorare’s game combines the mechanics of traditional fantasy sports with the collectability of trading cards. Users acquire, trade and assemble teams of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing real-life athletes, receiving points based on their real-world performance.
These cards are made available in various rarities, with the price for each determined by market forces in an auction. Cards can be exchanged for real cash, but Sorare says only 13 per cent of its three million strong userbase actually spend money on the platform.
Sorare chief executive Nicolas Julia said the Premier League deal was a milestone moment that the company had been working on for several years, starting with a club-specific tie-up with West Ham United in 2019. The league now has confidence in both the market and Sorare’s platform, while it also has the necessary licensing framework in place.
“The Premier League is the best [soccer] league in the world,” Julia told reporters ahead of the launch. “They probably received dozens of proposals to run a blockchain-based game and they have been very thorough in the way they analyse partners.
“What is important for them is to see that we are going to be a true partner to expand. One of the Premier League’s goals is to be much [bigger] in the US and we’re building a strong presence there. We have a team in New York, big partnerships with the US leagues and it is my conviction we are going to grow the pie for everyone.
“One of our [advantages] is that we have one product so fans of one sport can discover other sports through our [platform]. I think the US leagues also love the fact that we have a European presence too.”
Neither party has disclosed the financial terms of the contract, reported to be worth UK£30 million (US$37.2 million) a year, but it is understood that minimum guarantees are in place and the Premier League has the option to purchase equity in Sorare in the future.
Should the Premier League not renew its deal, fans will still own their NFTs and be able to use the cards in Sorare’s ecosystem.
“The way that supporters follow their favourite teams and players is evolving and the Premier League is always looking for ways to engage with fans,” said Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive.
“Sorare’s digital cards and innovative online game represent a new way for them to feel closer to the Premier League whether they are watching in the stadium or from around the world. We believe that Sorare are the ideal partner for the Premier League and we look forward to working closely together.”