The NBA is increasing its web3 footprint with the recent announcement of a new relationship with the NFT platform Sorare. The two will be constructing a brand-new fantasy gamified platform that will debut sometime in 2019. We’ll examine what we can infer from the parties’ joint first look announcement, how it might affect the NBA’s current NFT partnership with Dapper Labs, and what to watch out for as this story unfolds.
According to a press release from the NBA distributed this morning, the NBAPA and the league have secured Sorare as their first-ever “official NFT fantasy partner.” Terms of the multiyear agreement are not disclosed in the statement, but it is clarified that Sorare will focus on creating “the first legally licensed, free-to-play digital collectible-based fantasy basketball game,” which could be released soon as this fall. The NBA preseason begins later this month, with the regular season beginning in just over 30 days.
Sorare began in European football, fusing the ideas of NFTs and fantasy sports. The platform has developed a good reputation with a number of teams and is the market leader in creating fantasy sports on a Blockchain. Sorare’s football league now includes close to 300 clubs from a variety of sizes and regions.
It was announced earlier this year that the platform’s entry into the main American sports earlier this year through a partnership with Major League Baseball. Baseball’s 30 major league teams were given full IP access as part of the agreement, and a fantasy-style competition is also anticipated here. Another NFT game with a fantasy theme is called “Rivals,” and Sorare is collaborating with the NFL to release it.
Should Dapper Labs be concerned about a potential new American competition now that a new NBA deal has been established? It’s not all bad news for Dapper because competition leads to better products. Supporters of NBA Top Shot contend that Sorare and Top Shot can coexist, which is probably accurate.