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Sorare, the blockchain-based fantasy sports game maker, struck a deal with the most-watched soccer league in the world: the English Premier League. The game will release cards based on players from all 20 of the EPL’s football clubs. These will debut alongside new gameplay features like league-specific competitions, draft-based gameplay and a salary capped-mode.
“The way that supporters follow their favorite teams and players is evolving and the Premier League is always looking for ways to engage with fans. Sorare’s digital cards and innovative online game represent a new way for them to feel closer to the Premier League,” said Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League.
Sorare began with soccer when the NFT-based fantasy sports title launched in 2018. Today, company has deals with nearly 300 soccer clubs in 50 different leagues. These include top names like Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, Germany’s Bundesliga and the United States’ MLS. This network effect between the various top-tier leagues will help keep fans engaged.
Additionally, Sorare partnered with FIFA to launch a free-to-play version of its game for the 2022 World Cup. During the partnership over 585,000 fans signed up for Sorare.
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Sorare has expanded into different sports. The company signed deals with the NBA and MLB allowing Sorare to reach soccer, basketball and baseball fans.
The Premier League has been on the hunt for an NFT partner. Reportedly, talks with rival ConsenSys for a four-year deal worth over $450 million collapsed amid the crypto-winter. While the Premier League’s prudence probably cost itself some revenue (roughly $118 million per year), this partnership looks to be focused on long-term fan engagement. Sorare’s gameplay and slow-but-steady growth have helped it avoid the stigma of a get-rich-quick speculative asset.
This deal signals that NFT and blockchain partnerships will be valued very differently in 2023 than in 2022.