- Fantasy sports game Sorare has more than 200 partnership agreements
- Deal with Major League Baseball is its first venture into a sport outside soccer
Sorare, a global fantasy soccer game, says it has no concerns about potential licensing issues in the future, claiming its agreements are designed to create success for all parties involved and that users will still own any non-fungible tokens (NFTs) if Sorare’s partnership agreements do expire.
Fantasy soccer platform Sorare has more than 200 licenses with rights holders around the world, including Major League Baseball (MLB), German soccer’s Bundesliga, LaLiga in Spain and North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS). The brand believes exclusivity is vital for the integrity of its game and its economy.
Exclusivity allows the company to control the scarcity of digital player cards used for its fantasy games, which can be bought either freshly-minted from Sorare itself or from other players via first or third-party marketplaces such as OpenSea.
Sorare COO says the user comes first
Ryan Spoon, Chief Operating Officer at Sorare, told the SportsPro’s StreamTime Podcast that it was in everyone’s best interests to ensure success.
“Our relationships are grounded in a couple of things [such as] shared, long-term incentives,” he said. “These are not one-year terms so there’s a shared desire to hit [targets] and exceed them. That is a mutual benefit and decisions are made that benefit [all parties] – the league, the players, the users, and us as well.
“There are very short-term decisions we could make that wouldn’t necessarily result in long-term success or longevity. The user has to come first and if we do that then all other parties will succeed.
“Having exclusivity is important because having too many cards on the market can decrease the value. It impacts both gameplay and the value of these tokens to others.
“Our licensing deals are long enough to be able to grow and hopefully find some success. If we do a really good job then we are both motivated and incentivized to continue this. The deal might be structured slightly differently, it might be more expensive, but if we do a good job then we will continue on the path together.”
Support by Sorare on expired license cards
Spoon said any card minted as part of an expired license would continue to be supported by Sorare to a degree, but stressed there would still be some collectible value in the same way conventional trading cards and stickers did.
“The cards you buy [on Sorare] are no different to physical cards in that there are examples of companies that have lost that license, but you still own the card,” he said. “But we’re going to succeed and we’re going to do this with [our partners], build a fan base and it’s all in our interests to do that.”
Expired license NFTs lose functionality and maybe value
Although the relative scarcity of Sorare’s cards means they are prized as collectible items, their utility still contributes to their value. If Sorare were to lose one of its exclusive licenses, then it would be unable to mint new NFTs. Existing cards would lose much of their functionality and, potentially, value on the open market.
A recent example of this was Animoca Brands’ F1 Delta Time, a game in which players used NFTs to compete in online races. Following the expiration of the license with Formula One, the game was shut down, meaning players still owned ‘highly collectible’ tokens but had lost their utility. In recognition of this, Animoca offered alternative NFTs that could be used in its other motorsport games as compensation.
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