Football: Spain's La Liga seals digital player card deal with Sorare

(BLOOMBERG) – Spain’s top football league sealed a partnership with Sorare to allow fans to trade digital cards for its star players on the French tech firm’s blockchain-powered fantasy soccer platform.

Sorare’s virtual cards are non-fungible tokens (NFT) – collectible digital assets created in small quantities, whose ownership is verifiable through blockchain technology.

Under the accord, fans will be able to trade the cards of players for Spanish top-flight and second-tier league clubs, according to statement on LaLiga’s website on Thursday (Sept 9).

Sports clubs are keen to explore the potential of digital assets to create new revenue streams by tapping into fresh ways to engage with supporters. Sales of NFT cards to users who collect them to create fantasy teams have generated sales of US$130 million (S$174.5 million) this year, the statement said.

“We’ve been monitoring the blockchain industry for more than a year and we believe this partnership is the best way to enter the NFT space,” La Liga executive director Oscar Mayo said in a news conference.

Under the terms of the agreement, the league will redistribute revenue from the partnership to the clubs, he said.

The deal is the first Solare has done with a top-tier national league. The firm’s backers include Barcelona’s star Gerard Pique and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

Sorare plans to partner the world’s top 20 football leagues by the end of 2022 and currently has 175 clubs in 35 leagues worldwide under licence, according to its website.

US venture capital firm Benchmark, which was an early backer of Uber Technologies, Twitter and eBay, led a US$50 million investment into the company in February.

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