Fantasy sports platform Sorare inked a deal with the Premier League to integrate official EPL-licensed NFTs into its player offerings.
The English Premier League has signed a potentially lucrative multi-year deal with leading fantasy soccer game Sorare. According to a CNBC report, Sorare players can acquire and use official Premier League-licensed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) under this agreement. Commenting on the deal, which sees the Premier League license official player cards, Sorare also announced the launch of two new features in the game.
The Paris-based $4.3 billion fantasy soccer game startup says these initiatives include competing with league-specific player cards and a “financial fair play” feature. According to Sorare, the fair play rule prevents users from choosing all-star teams to compete with, thereby creating a level-playing field.
Sorare-Premier League Partnership First Came to Bear amid League’s Failed Talks with ConsenSys
Talks regarding a potential Sorare licensing deal with the Premier League began to circulate last October first. In light of the now-confirmed collaboration between both platforms, Sorare chief executive officer Nicolas Julia provided insight into the deal’s development. According to Julia, the fantasy soccer company and the top-tier English men’s soccer league experienced delays in wrapping up the licensing agreement. The holdup was because the Premier League already had an existing NFT licensing deal with another platform.
Although Julia refrained from sharing specifics on the terms and duration of the latest deal, Sky News reported it was worth £30 million. Last October, the British free-to-air television news channel and organization intimated an impending agreement between Sorare and the Premier League. According to Sky News at the time, the supreme English football league system planned to hold talks with executives from its 20 resident clubs.
In October 2022, Sky News also reported that the Sorare development came after the Premier League’s negotiations with ConsenSys fell apart. The private blockchain software technology company had tried to negotiate a deal at a lower price following a decline in NFT valuations. However, Premier League club executives deemed the Sorare contract more lucrative than ConsenSys’ revised proposal.
Projected Licensed Official Player Tokens Come amid Crypto Winter
Lucrative or not, the latest Sorare-Premier League deal comes amid a steep NFT value and trading activity slide. Throughout last year, crypto assets were trading lower, triggered by several macroeconomic parameters. This phase, known as crypto winter, worsened in recent months due to the epic and sudden collapse of one-time leading exchange FTX.
According to CryptoSlam, the average selling price of an NFT last December was $143.22, representing a massive 63% drawdown year-over-year. In perspective, NFTs averaged a selling price of $383.73 in December 2021. NFT trading volumes are also wallowing, with sales plummeting 78% last December to $678.2 million from a lofty $3.1 billion a year ago.
Nonetheless, Julia explains that Sorare has “trended very differently from the rest of the space.” According to the CEO, total exchanges of Sorare’s cards amounted to $500 million in 2022, almost doubling from $270 million in 2021. Still, the fantasy soccer platform has noticed a usage trend shift with players opting for its “free-to-play” mode. Under this mode, these players do not have to compete with paid-for cards.
In addition to the Premier League, Sorare also previously announced deals with the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.