French know-how and Serena Williams, how Surrey teamed up with the NBA

The players keep chanting, “Everything goes very fast in football.” So when football mingles with emerging technologies, you could also say that we are on an intergalactic highway, where the speed limit signals are quickly forgotten. Launched in 2019 by two French people (cocorico), Sorare relies on NFT technology to create an online game for exchanging sports badges. It all started with football. There is now also baseball, with the MLB (American League) and soon the NBA.

The French startup announced on Wednesday the launch of a multi-year partnership with the powerful NBA and the NBPA (National Professional League Players Association). “We are very proud to have entered into this partnership, he explains 20 minutes Thibaut Predhomme, right-hand man of Nicholas Julia, one of the founders of Sorare. The NBA was an obvious choice for us, because the fan base is very loyal and committed, because there is already a trading card market and a lot of stats. »

Another step into Web 3 for the NBA

For the NBA, this is also a logical follow-up to the “discovery” of Web 3. In April, the NBA launched the NBAxNFT, which aims to combine everything related to “basketball with NFTs, games, metaverse ideas, and Web3,” reports. A few days ago, the Golden State Warriors, for their part, created the NFT Responsive Match for the NFT 2022. “If they choose Sorare to accompany them in continuing this development, it is because we are known in this market,” Thibaut Pridehom welcomes.

So how did this French startup manage to achieve such a big deal? “Thanks to what we’ve done in football and baseball,” replies the person who introduces himself as Foreman in Sorare. And also thanks to a certain intervention Serena WilliamsHe was appointed as an advisor to the fund’s board of directors. Suffice it to say that when the greatest tennis player of all time presents a project, you don’t need five minutes to provide an answer.

Serena Williams as Matchmaker

“When we have Serena Williams as our board advisor, she’s someone we rely on to facilitate discussions with the NBPA and important players in the NBA, because she brings us credibility, as an athlete herself,” admits Thibaut Predhomme. And this is how the game, at the intersection of blockain-based deck cards and some form of fantasy-based game play, will open up to the NBA.

Concretely, for users, there won’t be much disruption to gameplay with the arrival of the NBA. All that remains is to decide how many cards your team will make up (5 in football, 7 in baseball). But neither the pace of the NBA games nor the disproportionate weight of league stats should disrupt gameplay.

The basketball product will reuse the successes of the football product. But we will adapt to the peculiarities of each sport. We adapt to make sure the product we make will resonate with fans. This product will be led by the New York office, where we have hired teams of local sports experts, with several ESPN collaborators, who will work to create the game most suitable for basketball fans. »

New fan base

With this new partnership, Sorare hopes to recruit new followers. Today, the startup has 2 million users, thanks in particular to 280 licenses signed with football clubs (those licenses were suspended with Russia due to the war in Ukraine).

“Every time we add a licence, we ‘unblock’ a certain group of fans who will be interested in the idea of ​​bringing together clubs that join the platform. When you add an entire league, with teams like the Lakers, the Knicks or the Warriors, you’re absolutely confident of You’ll unlock new fanbases. All that’s left is to play the responsibility.

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