Dutch soccer’s top-tier Eredivisie league has extended its partnership with blockchain fantasy platform Sorare until 2025 as it looks to continue engaging with its fanbase.
Under the deal, the platform becomes the exclusive non-fungible token (NFT) fantasy sports partner of the league. Users will also be able to continue to buy and exchange digital cards featuring Eredivisie players to build their teams in the various fantasy leagues the platform operates.
The extension builds on Eredivisie’s agreement with Sorare signed in January 2021, which saw the league become the fourth league to join the platform since launching in 2019. Since then, Sorare has secured agreements with 300 sports organizations.
Marc Rondagh, Eredivisie’s head of marketing and commercial development, said: “At Eredivisie, we’re always striving to pioneer new technologies for our supporters, with the aim of enhancing their fan experience and making them feel as connected as possible to their club and the global football community.
“Actually, we were one of the first leagues to join the innovative game Sorare. Sorare’s fantasy game represents the future of online football fandom, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with Sorare and go further in bringing exciting new initiatives to our fans.”
The France-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.
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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.
Late last year, Sorare announced deals with 18 national soccer teams, including the Netherlands, ahead of launching its free-to-play game focused on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar held in December.
Michael Meltzer, Sorare’s head of business development, said: “Eredivisie is one of the world’s most iconic leagues; with unparalleled history, great talents, and one of the largest and most passionate fanbases in the sport.
"We’re beyond excited to expand our partnership with such a league that is just as committed to innovating to bring authentic experiences to their fans as we are.
“Thanks to this exclusive deal, fans from across the globe will be able to use Sorare to get even closer to the Eredivisie clubs that they love, from Ajax to PSV Eindhoven, from Feyenoord to one of the other iconic Eredivisie clubs.”
The Paris-based startup, which was last valued at $4.3 billion, has more than 2 million users across 185 countries and is partnered with over 300 sports teams and leagues.
Its predominant focus is on growing its soccer presence, which has seen it secure current licensing deals with 10 top-tier domestic leagues worldwide, including Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s LaLiga.
Along with the 10 leagues, Sorare’s growing portfolio of soccer partners comprises 230 clubs, with England’s Liverpool, Germany’s Bayern Munich, France’s Paris Saint-Germain, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, and Italy’s Juventus among them.
In August, it added German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund to its soccer portfolio and became a premium partner of the Bundesliga club under a long-term deal.
Last month (October), it announced deals with five English Football League clubs as part of its plans to launch a new competition focused on second-tier European soccer leagues, with Championship sides Burnley, Coventry City, Millwall, Norwich City, and Watford the first to sign up.
In addition to its flagship soccer game, Sorare has also signed deals with Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association as it looks to drive interest in North America and beyond.