- Messi has taken equity stake in fantasy sports company
- Sorare hopes to attract more users with brand campaigns
Blockchain-based fantasy sports specialist Sorare has signed up soccer star Lionel Messi as a global ambassador and launched a new free-to-play social game involving international teams ahead of the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this month.
Messi joins Paris St. Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé and tennis legend Serena Williams in Sorare’s stable of athlete investors, with the company hoping his global profile will drive awareness of its platform and encourage sign-ups.
The Argentina forward will also work with the company on developing new features and user experiences while he is also believed to have taken an equity stake in the company as part of the arrangement. Messi recently set up his own investment firm, focusing on sport, technology and media.
“We are incredibly excited and proud to have Lionel Messi join us as in Sorare,” said Nicolas Julia, Sorare chief executive. “We created Sorare because we are, first and foremost, football fans, so to have one of the game’s greatest ever players join us for the next stage of our journey truly is a dream come true.
“This partnership marks another major milestone for us and we look forward to working with Lionel as we continue to grow our community and evolve the experience we deliver to users as part of our ambition to make Sorare into the next global sports entertainment giant.”
Building on the Messi partnership, Sorare is also planning its first ever major brand campaign to coincide with the World Cup and its new free-to-play game.
‘Sorare: Global Cup 22’ differs from the standard Sorare fantasy game, which is based on teams of non-fungible tokens (NFT) representing real-life players, in that users assemble eight-man squads comprising players from 18 officially licensed national associations. These include Argentina, Germany, and Spain.
There are public and private leaderboards, with players able to win prizes including match tickets and merchandise.
Sorare has partnerships with several major soccer leagues, including the German Bundesliga and Spanish LaLiga, while it has been heavily linked with a deal for the Premier League. It has also expanded into other sports through licensing agreements with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).