English Premier League Bets on Crypto with NFT Deal

Fantasy sports platform Sorare partners with the Premier League for 4-year agreement to sell digital cards, amidst growing concerns about the lack of regulatory framework for NFTs.

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Amidst the turmoil that cryptocurrencies have been going through in recent months and in particular for 2022, the English Premier League is coming to give a vote of confidence to crypto by signing an agreement to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

According to Reuters, the Premier League has signed a 4-year deal to sell digital cards of the league’s players from fantasy sports platform Sorare, with no known price tag for the deal.

In October 2022, Sky News reported that the Premier League’s deal with France’s Sorare – which has backing from SoftBank Group – could be worth up to £30 million per year. Sorare raised $680m from investors in its latest funding round in 2021, with a value estimated at $4.3bn.

It is noted that the UK’s betting authority has been investigating Sorare since 2021 to determine whether its activities fall into the category of betting.

The concerns about the lack of a regulatory framework

NFTs experienced breakneck growth in 2021, but have declined significantly over the past year amid losses in crypto and digital currencies.

Many football teams and athletes have signed commercial agreements to sell products on NFTs. However, members of the British Football Supporters Association (FSA) have expressed concerns about the phenomenon.

“Fan support should not be measured in terms of money. The lack of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and NFTs is something fans should be aware of,” reads a statement from the FSA released ahead of the Premier League’s deal with Sorare.

For his part, Richard Masters, CEO of the Premier League, said that “the way fans follow teams and their favorite players is evolving and the Premier League always wants to drive interest in fans”.

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