Sorare, the blockchain-based fantasy engagement platform, has today (July 25) entered into separate partnerships with Italian soccer's top-flight Serie A and reigning league champions AC Milan. 

The platform has signed exclusive multi-year agreements with the respective parties. 

Under the deal with Milan, Sorare becomes the team's official NFT fantasy football game partner. The platform has also been designated as a premium partner, joining the likes of Puma, Fly Emirates, Konami, BitMex, BMW, Skrill, and Wefox.

As part of the new deal, Milan officially enter Sorare’s NFT-based fantasy football game, in which users can collect, trade, and play with officially licensed digital cards.

Starting from the upcoming 2022-23 season, Sorare’s users – claimed to be over 2 million – will be able to collect, trade, and play with digital cards from Milan.

The Italian giants said the partnership will offer the club “an important new digital fan engagement tool”, as well as a “new revenue stream created through the establishment of a new game licensing category: non-fungible token licensing”.

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The tie-up forms part of Milan’s wider Web 3.0 strategy as the club is “moving further into the NFT world by working with experts to create unique digital experiences for its fans.”

Casper Stylsvig, chief revenue officer of AC Milan, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sorare into our exclusive family of premium partners. Today marks the beginning of a new journey with an exciting and young brand that is at the forefront of the NFT revolution and that has been able to merge digital collectibles and fantasy sports.

“As an innovative club, this is a sector that we are exploring with a clear strategy in mind, with the goal to offer our over 500 million fans across the globe with exciting additional ways to engage with their club. That is why we are pleased to partner with Sorare and introduce their digital collectibles to our fanbase.”

As part of the deal with Serie A, players from the top Italian league will feature in Sorare’s global fantasy football game.

Serie A becomes the fourth major soccer league to join forces with the blockchain-based firm, joining Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, and North America's Major League Soccer. 

In total, Sorare has partnerships with 12 leagues. 

Last week, both Serie A and Milan also announced digital collectibles partnerships with OneFootball, the international soccer content portal.

Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Lega Serie A, said: "At Serie A we are always looking for opportunities to harness emerging technologies, to improve the fan experience, and to help our clubs better engage with international audiences. 

"Sorare is at the forefront of this sector and uniquely combines fantasy football gaming with collectible NFT cards, which allows us to broaden our target audience in order to bring younger fans closer to our football. It is a partnership with great potential and we are ready to launch the first collections ahead of the 2022-23 season."

Nicolas Julia, chief executive and co-founder of Sorare, added: “This partnership is another milestone on our journey to become the next sports entertainment giant. Italy is currently Sorare’s fastest growing market and Italian users are our second largest community globally, so we know there is huge demand for our fantasy game and collectibles in this market.

"This partnership will help us accelerate this growth and allow more fans from across the world to get closer to the legendary clubs, world class players and future stars that make Serie A one of the world’s best leagues.”

Sorare’s large portfolio of soccer partners comprises 230 clubs, including England’s Liverpool, Germany’s Bayern Munich, France’s Paris Saint-Germain, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, and Italy’s Juventus.

At the end of June, French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappe became Sorare’s first player ambassador through a long-term deal that also sees the Paris Saint-Germain striker invest in the platform.

The 23-year-old is becoming an investor in the platform, joining other high-profile athletes who are already investors and advisors to the firm including Serena Willliams, Gerard Piqué, and Rio Ferdinand.

The French-based platform essentially operates a soccer trading card game in which individual cards are digital products that increase or decrease in value based on real-world performances.

The cards are tradeable with other players of the game and can be sold on the marketplace, giving the leagues a new revenue stream. Some, such as the Cristiano Ronaldo card, have sold for more than $100,000.