Premier League signs deal with NFT-based fantasy football game Sorare

Soccer trading card game Sorare NFT has partnered with the Premier League in a multi-year licensing agreement.


Sorare, the $4.3 billion fantasy soccer game, has signed a multi-year contract with the Premier League to see the official licensed player cards of the world’s top soccer league .

Gamers will be able to purchase and use official Premier League-licensed NFTs under a multi-year exclusivity agreement.

Paris-based startup Sorare, which has 3 million users worldwide, allows anyone to compete in 5-a-side fantasy soccer games. Chances of success are based on the real-time performance of the players on the field.

Sorare said it will also launch two new features in the game. These include the ability to compete with tournament-specific player cards and a “financial fair play” feature that prevents users from choosing all-star teams.

Sorare was first rumored to be in talks with the Premier League – Britain’s top men’s football league – over a licensing deal in October 2022. Sorare chief executive Nicolas Julia said everything took took longer to complete than expected as the Premier League has an existing NFT licensing agreement with another company.

sky news previous report that the deal is worth £30 million. Julia declined to share specifics about the financial terms and duration of the deal.

The news comes despite a sharp drop in NFT trading activity.

The value of the NFT – or non-fungible token – has plummeted amid a drop in cryptocurrency prices known as “crypto winter”, exacerbated in recent months by bankruptcy of the major exchange FTX.

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According to data site CryptoSlam, the average selling price of an NFT in December 2022 was $143.22, down 63% from $383.73 in December 2021.

Trading volume also decreased significantly. Total NFT sales fell 78% in December to $678.2 million from $3.1 billion a year ago.

Julia said Sorare has “a very different tendency to the rest of the space.” Total card transactions on the platform amounted to $500 million last year, nearly doubling from $270 million in 2021.

However, the company has noticed a change in usage as players are more inclined to use the “free play” mode when they don’t have to compete with paid cards.

Julia said about 87% of Sorare players “haven’t even spent money on the platform”.

That raises an obvious question about the sustainability of the Sorare model: how to make money when most of its users are not trading?

For her part, Julia says users who have the ability to spend big are enough to generate income. Sorare makes an unspecified cut of all transactions through its service.

It’s worth noting that Sorare is the third largest collection of NFTs worldwide, according to CryptoSlam data. The company processed about $1 million in transactions in a 24-hour period, CryptoSlam figures show.

The Premier League’s partnership with Sorare adds to a host of deals between sports leagues and crypto platforms.

Sorare himself previously announced deals with Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

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Some deals, like’s deal for the naming rights to the Staples Center arena in Los Angeles and FTX’s now-defunct sponsorship of the Miami-Dade Arena, have gone awry amid the price landscape. Cryptocurrencies plummet.

Julia said Sorare has been protected from the fallout for crypto-focused sports ads because his company is more focused on licensing intellectual property than sponsorship.

The French startup was last valued by investors at $4.3 billion in September 2021. Sorare is backed by top names including Japan. Soft bank and venture capital firms Accel and Benchmark. It also counts sports stars Lionel Messi, Serena Williams and Kylian Mbappe as shareholders.

Sorare is not without controversy and has come under fire for allegations that it promotes gambling.

The UK Gambling Commission is investigating the company “to determine whether requires a license to operate or whether the services it provides constitute gambling”. according to a statement dated October 8, 2021 note.

Julia said he could not yet provide an update on the UK’s investigation.

In November, the startup committed to making a number of changes to its platform following the actions of the French National Gambling Authority. These include enhancing the free-to-play elements of the game. The company is required to enforce these measures by March 31.

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