Sorare, a Web3 fantasy league sports platform, has secured some impressive partnerships including La Liga, K League, and Real Madrid, and that’s just in football. Now, the Paris-based company is looking to arguably the biggest scalp in the footballing world: the Premier League.
Sorare has been one of the early success stories in Web3. Development started in 2018 on the Ethereum blockchain by Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. However, after a €550k pre-seed round in May 2019, the fantasy sport and collectibles game began to get considerable traction. Sorare raised millions with the likes of André Schürrle and Gerard Piqué, and familiar Web3 backers such as Ubisoft and ConsenSys.
In the past 18 months, Sorare has secured licensing partnerships with La Liga, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and Real Madrid, all broadly covering digital trading cards of players and teams as well as fantasy sports.
When it comes to football (soccer to our American readers), there was always one partnership that would be particularly valuable. The Premier League is one of — if not the — top leagues in the world and an official licensing deal could be highly valuable. Fantasy football is particularly popular with the Premier League, and although attracting players to Sorare’s games might be tricky, the market is there.
At present, the partnership between Sorare and the Premier League is a rumor, but a well-established one, with reports in many crypto and sports outlets alike, including Sky News. This deal is said to be worth £30m ($34.5m) per year and covers static images of footballers. It is predicted that it could be concluded within weeks.
This deal comes off the back of a ConsenSys agreement that was in the works with the Premier League, but that fell through after the bear market began and valuations of NFTs and Web3 companies plummeted with it. ConsenSys allegedly aimed to renegotiate the deal, but was pipped to the post by Sorare. Sky News reported, “one Premier League club executive said they had been informed that the Sorare contract was more lucrative than the revised ConsenSys proposal.”
The Premier League has been quietly engaged with Web3, and rumors of a deal with Dapper Labs has also circulated for some time. As far as mainstream sports adoption goes, the Premier League would be added to La Liga, MLB, NBA, and the NFL, all of which are involved in Web3 in one way or another. It’s at times like this that we must step back and remember that a few years ago, we dreamed of partnerships of this caliber.