- Sorare has contracts with leading sports leagues and clubs.
- The NBA-inspired game came out last month
Blockchain sports gaming firm Sorare believes its partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) can help make it a household name in the US while solidifying its vision of becoming a “global sports community.”
Sorare has built a reputation for fantasy football by allowing players to collect, trade and collect teams of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing real-life athletes, and now has two million users in 180 countries.
However, Sorare has made no secret of its desire to expand into North America, a major fantasy sports market with a long history of card collecting. The company opened a New York office in late 2021 and has since, like the NBA, made deals with Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS).
“The NBA has some of the most famous star athletes in the world, just like football does, and people feel a real connection to these players,” Michael Meltzer, Sorare’s head of business development, told SportsPro.
“The ability to ‘own’ an NBA player [in the form of a digital collectible] and play fantasy sports with him [the card] really exciting.
“I came from DraftKings so I know the fantasy sports market very well and it was clear that Sorare’s product would apply very well to American sports which is an existing, thriving and mature fantasy market.
“The NBA and MLB are giving us access to the US market, which is a key priority for us, but there will be a tight transition with our football user base. Having a global blockchain product with this global community goes beyond a specific demographic or sport. You might have someone who started out as a football fan and then became an MLB fan. There are people in our community from Europe who tell us they are watching baseball for the first time and vice versa.”
Football remains a high priority for Sorare, which has signed deals with several clubs in the English Football League (EFL) as part of a new second tier game and has also launched a free-to-play (FTP) competition for Fifa World 2022. Qatar Cup.
Licenses are extremely important to Sorare, which she believes add to the appeal and immersion of the game, ensuring that digital collectibles are as desirable as regular trading cards.
It has been widely reported that a £30 million (US$36.4 million) one-year deal with the Premier League is close to completion. Sorare remains tight-lipped about the future, but Meltzer admits he is always looking for new partnerships.
“We have had a busy year and have made it clear that our goal is to create the largest global sports community for fans around the world,” he explained.
“We want to sign with all the major leagues. We always look at the largest objects that are not yet in our network to see if it makes sense. [to reach a deal].
“You can understand how to create a product [without licences] but in order to create a premium product and have value in those player cards, having intellectual property is critical.”