Sports fans are going nuts for NFT games

A one-of-a-kind Cristiano Ronaldo NFT has sold for $290,000 on the fantasy soccer game Sorare. Investors like Benchmark are starting to pay attention.

Sports fans are going nuts for NFT games

A one-of-a-kind Cristiano Ronaldo NFT has sold for $290,000 on the fantasy soccer game Sorare. Investors like Benchmark are starting to pay attention.

Sorare is a football (soccer) non-fungible token platform that blends licensed digital collectibles with the gamification and risk-to-reward enjoyment of fantasy sports, all built on the Ethereum blockchain.

On February 25, Benchmark, the venture capital firm that was an early backer in Uber, Twitter, eBay, Dropbox and Instagram, led a $50 million investment into Sorare, a digital social sports network focused on global soccer stars like Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Benchmark partner Bill Gurley is going into NFTs.

Sorare said it is taking fans into a "new era of online football fandom" with its blockchain technology-backed digital collectibles with over ​120 soccer clubs​ including Italian top Juventus.

Sorare is based on future real-life player performances, whereas NBA Top Shot is based on past highlights in games, but they both use similar forms of gamification to encourage repeat usage and long-term engagement.

Sorare has official licenses with 126 clubs including the likes of Liverpool FC, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Juventus, and are adding more all the time. Each Sorare card holds the same attributes as other NFT assets, and the token cannot be copied or taken away from your possession.

You can actually view the public token for a Kylian Mbappé unique card, for example, to understand how blockchains can make trading more transparent, but you don't own the keys. Much like owning a house or other asset.

A unique Kylian Mbappé card on Sorare.

On Sorare, players compete in a Sorare Global Fantasy Football game that challenges contestants to build their best five-player teams and compete to win weekly prizes. The speculation is very short-term.

On February 21, Sorare snagged headlines in Paris and around the world when one of its Cristiano Ronaldo cards sold for just over $100,000.

Not to be outmatched, on February 22 a Lebron James Cosmic Dunk went for $208,000 on Top Shot. A few days later, a Zion Williamson block went for $100,000. ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst reported that Top Shot transacted over $110 million in less than a week — growing to over 50,000 users — and over $123 million in sales since their launch in September.

A Lebron James cosmic dunk went fro $208,000 on February 22 on NBA Top Shot.

On Sunday, March 14, Sorare announced that a one-of-a-kind digital card from the 2020-2021 season featuring Cristiano Ronaldo sold for $290,000. The 1/1 serial means there was only one minted, making it unique in rarity.

A copy of the $290,000 "one of a kind" NFT sold on Sorare.

Sorare NFTs are available in three levels of scarcity: unique (1 of 1), super rare (1 of 10), and rare (1 of 100). Top Shot lots go into 100,000 and higher.

Dapper Labs, creators of Top Shot and CryptoKitties and backed by Andreesen Horowitz, raised $250 million at a $2 billion valuation last month to expand their NFT-ready Flow blockchain into other verticals.

After launching in October, Top Shop is still the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in terms of trading volume and traffic. They trade on average about $6.5 million per day with 16,000 active daily users.

In addition to art, games and digital collectibles, non-fungible tokens can be used for virtual reality platforms like Decentraland, Sandbox and Cryptovoxels, for digital assets like images, videos and songs, or for authentication of real-world assets like real estate, licenses, and birth and death certificates.

Learn more about Sorare or Top Shot.