Major League Soccer Brings NFTs to Sorare

America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) has signed a deal to release NFTs on the fantasy sports platform Sorare. In the coming years, Sorare will have the right to strike NFT trading cards with the players in the 28 clubs of MLS. Once a customer buys an MLS athlete’s NFT, they can add it to their Sorare fantasy football team for upcoming competitions.

MLS is the first major US league to partner with France-based Sorare platform. Most of the NFTs for athletes available on Sorare come from European teams such as La Liga, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

Since its inception in 2018, Sorare has become one of the most popular Ethereum-based sports games. Forbes now estimates that Sorare has more than 1.5 million players from approximately 184 countries.

Recent funding rounds also suggest Sorare could be worth $4 billion. Some of Sorare’s trading card NFTs are among the most sought-after digital collectibles for professional sports. For example, a one-on-one Erling Haaland NFT on Sorare recently sold for about $600,000.

In 2021, Sorare showed interest in the American football market when it opened its first branch in NYC. The NFT firm suggested it is interested in partnering with non-football US professional sports teams, but there are no details on who Sorare is talking to.

According to MLS spokespersons, the deal with Sorare fits in with their new business strategy to connect with younger football fans. According to recent data, the median age for an MLS fan is just under 40, much lower than the age for NBA and NHL fans. Since NFTs mostly appeal to people in the millennial or Gen Z age range, the MLS believes entering the crypto market will improve fan engagement.

MLS also wants to use Sorare’s fantasy football league to bring American football players to the forefront of the global football stadium. Executives at MLS also mentioned using their Sorare partnership to build excitement for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America.

Professional soccer teams join the NFT game

Lately, there have been many exciting developments in the NFT space for professional football fans. For example, Sotheby’s just announced its NFT collection “LFC Heroes Club”, which features “superhero” versions of athletes from the Liverpool FC team. According to Sotheby’s, each of the NFTs in this collection gives fans access to special LFC events and merchandise opportunities.

A few days ago, Rarity Sniper discovered that Paris Saint-Germain had filed for patents to protect its brand in the metaverse. Soccer-AS Monaco also seems to be jumping into the NFT game thanks to a new deal with Capital Block.

English football fans are also looking forward to an official Premier League NFT market. According to the latest reports, the Premier League is in talks with ConsenSys to release image NFTs. Some reports suggest Premier League may launch its video-based NFTs on Dapper Labs’ popular Flow blockchain. Whatever the Premier League decides, pundits expect the NFT deal to be worth between $298 and $589 million.

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