The National Basketball Association (NBA) and NBA Players Association have struck a deal with Sorare, a French startup, to launch the league’s first NFT-based fantasy basketball game.
The multi-year partnership deal between North America’s professional basketball league and Sorare will officially launch the NFT-based fantasy basketball game around the league’s regular opener on 18 October. The game will be called Sorare: NBA.
Sorare is a fantasy sport and NFT trading platform valued at $4.3 billion, which has alliances with other major sports leagues like Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball. The platform has over two million registered users, but most of its players are based in Europe and Asia. Sorare expects to expand its presence in the United States by forming alliances with major baseball and basketball leagues in the country.
Like other games, the NBA’s NFT-based fantasy basketball game will allow players to buy and sell digital cards representing basketball players. Users can then line up their players and earn points based on their real-life performances.
The Sorare: NBA game will be free-to-play and accessible to those above age 18. Participants will create their own team based on their NFT card collection and earn points based on players’ real-life performance in NBA games.
However, this is not the NBA’s first tryst with fantasy sport or NFT-related games. In 2019, the NBA had partnered with Dapper Labs to launch NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace. In 2021, the platform recorded total sales of $221 million, with an average sale of $181.
“This (deal) is an interesting hybrid in that it’s an overlap between the fantasy sports space and the Web3 and blockchain space. Sorare sits at the intersection of two interesting trends—Web3 and fantasy,”
according to Scott Kaufman-Ross, the NBA’s senior vice president and head of gaming and new business ventures.