Spanish La Liga to launch NFT fantasy football cards
LONDON – La Liga, Spain’s top soccer league, said on Thursday it would offer NFTs to all of its players, marking the latest foray into cryptocurrencies from a major sports organization.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets designed to certify ownership of a virtual object, such as rare works of art or collectible cards, on the blockchain. They cannot be traded with each other, unlike bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
La Liga is teaming up with French start-up Sorare to launch its NFTs. Sorare’s platform allows users to trade digital player cards and manage teams of five in a number of fantasy football tournaments.
Sorare said he has entered into a long-term exclusive licensing deal with La Liga that will see top players, including Antoine Griezmann of Atlético Madrid, Vinícius Júnior of Real Madrid and Pedri of FC Barcelona, added to his platform.
“Today is an important milestone for us as it is the first league in the top five to join the platform,” Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare, told CNBC.
La Liga clubs will receive a royalty on sales and Sorare has paid a minimum guarantee to ensure exclusivity, the company said.
The Sports Industry Explores Crypto
La Liga is one of several sports associations to enter the world of crypto. The National Basketball Association, for example, licenses the game for a collectibles platform called NBA Top Shot, which was developed by blockhain start-up Dapper Labs.
In the world of football, Manchester City have dropped two collections from NFT. Meanwhile, a number of clubs have launched Fan Tokens which allow holders to vote on mostly minor club decisions and receive certain benefits.
Last month it was revealed that part of Lionel Messi’s welcome package to Paris Saint-Germain included the French club’s fan token, which was developed with the cryptocurrency company Socios.com.
NFT sales have exploded this year. A piece by digital artist Beeple sold for almost $ 70 million in March, while Visa recently bought a crypto collectible called CryptoPunk for almost $ 150,000 in ethereum.
Proponents of DTV say they are a means of achieving verifiable scarcity and ownership of digital media, which can be reproduced and distributed on a large scale through the free availability of content on the Internet.
However, critics view the trend as a potential bubble in a market known for its highly speculative investments. NFTs have also given rise to a number of scams, with a fake Banksy collectible sold for over $ 300,000 via an apparent hack on the artist’s website.
Sorare claims to have processed more than $ 200 million in sales through its platform since the start of 2021. The platform has more than 500,000 registered users in total.
Sorare hopes to sign each of the top 20 soccer leagues in the world by the end of 2022.
Founded in 2018, the start-up would prepare for a funding round of $ 530 million that would give it a valuation of at least $ 3.8 billion, according to Initiated. Sorare declined to comment on the report.