Lionel Messi Invests in NFT Soccer Game Sorare
The French nonfungible token trading game Sorare has signed up soccer star Lionel Messi as an investor and brand ambassador. On Wednesday, Sorare released a statement saying that the Argentine striker for French club Paris Saint-Germain will be instrumental in helping the firm establish new benchmarks for how fans interact with clubs and players. Sorare stated that they would also collaborate to generate unique content and fan interactions.
Messi has acquired an equity position in Sorare as portion of the arrangement, according to the firm, which did not elaborate on the value of his investment or other conditions. Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of Sorare, referred to the cooperation with Lionel Messi as a “major landmark” for the firm.
“We think Messi will aid us establish benchmarks in how we accomplish this, and we are eager to presenting the fresh features and fan interactions we’ve been developing together in the near future,” he told CNBC via email.
Sorare enables users to swap virtual player badges and create five-person imaginary soccer squads. The cards itself are nonfungible tokens (or NFTs), which are digital collectibles that maintain a history of possession on the blockchain. According to Sorare, this results in “digital rarity” for every card.
The Paris-headquartered firm, which was most recently estimated at $4.3 billion, has more than 2 million members in more than 185 countries and is associated with more than 300 sports clubs and leagues, namely Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga. It has lately extended outside its original concentration on soccer to include basketball and baseball.
“Fans have always sought methods to show their excitement and become nearer to their favorite players and teams, and Sorare’s mix of a fantasy game with virtual artifacts allows them new opportunities for doing so, no matter where they are in the globe,” Messi stated in a statement released on Wednesday.
The relationship with Sorare joins a flurry of noteworthy agreements between sports players and cryptocurrency companies. Kylian Mbappe, a French soccer star, and Serena Williams, an American tennis icon, have already announced partnerships with Sorare. Tom Brady acquired a holding in the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which on Tuesday consented to be acquired by rival business Binance following a liquidity issue.
As portion of his two-year deal with the club, Messi accepted to receive a portion of his pay in $PSG fan tokens, a cryptocurrency established by blockchain sports portal Socios for Paris Saint-Germain. The tokens’ worth has now plunged by 86% from its high in August 2021, when Messi revealed the Socios collaboration, causing typical sports fans to anticipate massive losses.
Julia said CNBC, “There has already been lot of excitement about football initiatives utilizing non-fungible technology so far, but the ones that remain around will be those that give actual underlying benefit and consider non-fungible technology as a medium to an objective, not an end in itself.”
In March, he also signed a distinct three-year contract with Socios to serve as the company’s worldwide brand ambassador. Julia told CNBC that the partnership with Sorare was “special.” Nevertheless, a Socios representative said that Messi’s contract with the company “still remains” and that the company does not see Sorare as a major rival.