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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Premier League Unfazed By Downturn, Strikes Crypto Deal

  • The Premier League struck a four-year, exclusive deal with Sorare.
  • The Premier League has an option to take an equity stake in the game.

The world’s biggest and most popular soccer league isn’t backing away from crypto.

The Premier League is expanding its digital footprint with a four-year, exclusive deal with blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare.

As part of the agreement, Sorare players can buy and use officially licensed digital cards representing Premier League players, and the Premier League has an option to take an equity stake in the game.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

  • Sky Sports reported in October — when a potential transaction was first mentioned — that the multiyear deal is around $37 million annually.
  • The Financial Times reported the deal is worth “tens of millions of pounds a year,” with each year’s final payment based on performance. 

Sorare, which is reportedly the third-biggest NFT collection worldwide and processes around $1 million of transactions in a 24-hour period, was last valued at $4.3 billion in 2021 following a $680 million funding round led by Softbank.

Sticking With Sports

Unlike other crypto companies, Sorare — which counts Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Serena Williams as shareholders — hasn’t had to back away from sports deals as it focuses on intellectual property over sponsorships.

Last year, it struck deals with Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association. 

Exchanges for Sorare totaled $500 million in 2022 — up from $270 million in 2021.

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