Premier League soccer is the latest sports league to go big with a new blockchain partner, as a deal seems to be on the verge of closing. Meanwhile in European football, one of the sports biggest stars has signed a new partnership deal.
There’s more sports and crypto action outside of European football, however, and that’s why we dive in every weekend with The Sports Slice. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest sports news across the globe around NFTs and blockchain technology.
The Sports Slice
Messi Signs On With Bitget
Argentinian football legend Lionel Messi isn’t new to crypto. When he signed on with Parisian club PSG last year, an undisclosed amount of PSG tokens were included in the deal. Earlier this year, Messi continued his engagement by signing a $20M deal with fan token platform Socios.
A new deal enters the fray this past week courtesy of crypto exchange Bitget. The move comes on the heels of the World Cup, the sport’s biggest event – which takes place every four years – and one that has yet to see Messi raise the trophy.
English Premier League Eyes ~$35M Deal With Sorare
Last week’s Slice covered the launch of Sorare’s new NBA fantasy beta platform. No reason to pump the brakes now, as Sorare is clearly seeing some momentum; reports have emerged over the past week that Sorare is on the verge of closing a roughly $35M deal with the Premier League, expanding the blockchain fantasy game’s dominance across the soccer vertical.
While the deal is not yet set in stone, it is reportedly near the finish line and is likely a multi-year deal that will encapsulate the league’s 20 clubs for usage rights within Sorare’s fantasy gaming platform. Additionally, it is believed that the deal is slated to replace an existing deal with ConsenSys, which was also a ‘nearly completed’ deal but one that never saw the finish line.
The English Premier League has also been in conversations with Dapper Labs.
NuArca Labs, an emerging NFT whitelabel platform, has paired up with the Hong Kong Rugby Union. NuArca typically utilizes the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain. | Source: MATIC-USD on TradingView.com
Hong Kong Rugby Union Explores NFTs
The Hong Kong Rugby Union has opened up their own NFT marketplace, according to a press release shared with Bitcoinist. The marketplace comes courtesy of a partnership between the Hong Kong Rugby Union and NFT whitelabel platform firm NuArca Labs.
Hong Kong Rugby Union, which is the region’s official governing body for rugby, joins a growing list of reputable rugby partners for NuArca Labs, which includes the likes of Major League Rugby and Rugby League World Cup 2021.
Crypto Sponsorship Risk Level
A new report from SportsPro took a high-level evaluation at current sport sponsorship categories, landing crypto sponsors – who have been emerging into sports far and wide – as ‘high risk.’
The reasoning is sound; 2022’s bear market has seen substantial reductions in new crypto sponsor entrants compared to last year’s boom. Furthermore, bear market conditions have led to some deals dissolving, often by necessity – such as Voyager’s deals with the Dallas Mavericks and the National Women’s Soccer League, or Terra Luna’s deal with the MLB’s Washington Nationals.
However, most teams and leagues are willing to have some degree of risk in their sports sponsorship portfolio. Crypto sponsors join the likes of betting, tech, and even airline sponsors in the ‘high risk’ category.
Sports Stadiums In The Metaverse
A new deal between Warner Bros Discovery Sports and Infinite Reality looks to build out sports venues in the metaverse. It is Warner Bros Discovery’s first foray into building fandom in virtual environments targeted around sports communities in particular.
It is not, however, the firms first foray into NFTs or other web3-associated tech. In fact, quite the opposite. The parent conglomerate company oversees DC Comics, which is gearing up for Superman NFTs, as our team covered in recent days. We’ve also seen recent engagement from the Warner Bros behemoth around IP like Lord Of The Rings, and we’ve seen the firm pair up with NFT-first companies such as Nifty.
What exactly this sports-centric initiative from Warner Bros Discovery will look like remains to be seen, but sports fans should keep an eye out for new AR/VR experiences with their favorite sports coming to market in the months ahead.
Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
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