NBA and NBPA team up with Sorare for NFT-based fantasy game – Sportico.com
After introducing millions of fans to the blockchain through NBA Top Shot, the league and NBPA will be making their next leap into NFTs this season.
On Wednesday, Sorare announced the release of a collectible NFT fantasy basketball game ahead of the 2022-23 season as part of a multi-year deal with the NBA and NBPA. Users will be able to purchase NFT cards of NBA stars and line up for public competitions, similar to Sorare’s existing soccer and baseball offerings.
Founded in France in 2018, Sorare expanded to the United States in 2021 and aims to partner with the NBA.
“Every day in our community, there are people asking, ‘When is the NBA coming? When is Sorare coming up with the NBA?'” said Michael Meltzer, business development manager at Sorare. “It’s something we hear all the time. … We think it’s an essential, game-changing deal for us.”
Since announcing his MLB game in July, Sorare has added 250,000 users, bringing his total to more than two million registered players. About 85% of the players in his baseball game came from outside the United States. “We felt like with their footprint in the global community, it would just…continue to create greater traction for us,” Josh Goodstadt, executive vice president of licensing for Think450, the NBPA’s licensing arm – said in an interview.
Rudy Gobert and Blake Griffin have also invested in Sorare as NBA players increasingly flex their muscles at the draft tables.
Sorare will be the NBA’s Official NFT Fantasy Partner, joining Dapper Labs and Panini as producers of NBA-licensed blockchain collectibles. Sorare has differentiated itself with a focus on fantastic gameplay and has continued to land major partnerships despite other entries into the category (including DraftKings’ ReignMakers product, for example, which does a heavy marketing push around his football game before week 1).
“Sorare was truly a pioneer in the fusion of fantasy sports and NFT, and they are clearly the category leader,” said Matt Holt, head of NBA consumer products, in an interview. “It’s just about giving our fans another opportunity to engage with the league, the teams and its players in a new, exciting and different way.”