Posted Sep 7, 2022, 2:00 PMUpdated on Sep 7, 2022 at 2:11 PM
Sorare strikes another blow. The French Web3 specialist has signed a partnership with the NBA and the NBPA, the powerful union of professional basketball players, to launch a fantasy game dedicated to American basketball.
The latter will be launched this fall and is an important step in the strategy of Sorare, famous for its football game, to open up to sports that have a global audience. In the spring, Sorare had already offered himself the rights to MLB, the American baseball league.
But with the NBA, the unicorn valued at $4.3 billion ties its destiny with a league that is considered a model in the world of sports business. In 2022, its revenues topped $10 billion for the first time. Television rights, marketing, merchandising, social media: the NBA has mastered the art of creating excitement around its product.
Sorare will bring him an additional windfall (the amount and duration of which have not been disclosed). In return, the French nugget will be able to edit the digital cards of players who play in the 30 franchises that make up the championship. Those of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokoúnmpo, Nikola Jokić or the Frenchman Rudy Gobert risk snatching up the price of gold…
As with the game of football, cardholders will also be able to participate in online competitions. « Our partnership with Sorare will provide NBA fans with a whole new way to engage with our teams and players, » NBA President Adam Silver said in a press release.
By attacking basketball, the French company is stepping into the backyard of its rival Dapper Labs, which owes much of its fame to Top Shot. This NFT platform allows you to buy videos of NBA highlights but does not offer a fantasy game.
To achieve his American Dream, Sorare recruited former ESPN heavyweight Ryan Spoon and brought Serena Williams onto his board. Something to open doors for him. “Our New York office will develop the product [dédié à la NBA, NDLR]with the support of that of Paris”, specifies Thibaut Predhomme, the spokesperson for Sorare.
At the same time, the young shoot wants to continue to develop in the world of football. A strategy that has been the strength of Panini or Electronic Arts, the publisher of the Fifa game, in the past. For example, it has just acquired the rights to eleven Ligue 2 clubs. “It makes sense to have exclusive deals,” explains Nicolas Julia, the founder of Sorare. “It’s a protection for us. And for the community, it is something positive to know that there will be no confusion and too much supply compared to demand. »
While the cryptocurrency market has been caught in a whirlwind in recent months, Sorare has done more than resist. In the past thirty days, the tricolor start-up has achieved the third largest volume of NFT sales in the world ($31 million), behind Uniswap and Bored Ape Yacht Club, according to the Cryptoslam site.
« We have continued to grow at all levels: number of users, revenues, number of employees… », comments Nicolas Julia, recalling that the company has been « profitable since day one ». The only downside, and not the least, the unicorn is on the radar of the National Gaming Authority, which plans to regulate its activity. “In the short term, we are careful that we are not put in boxes which do not correspond to us and which could kill us”, comments the boss.
> Fundraising, decryptions, key figures… To not miss any news from French Tech and start-ups, subscribe to our newsletter > Register