French technology start-up Sorare is hoping to launch a range of NFTs comprising digital fantasy football trading cards with the Premier League.
The company, which has raised £500m from investors including SoftBank, has emerged as a major player in sport’s growing blockchain economy and recently struck a deal with Spain’s LaLiga.
“We have had conversations, we have been in touch for a while, and hopefully we will have something to announce with the Premier League,” Sorare chief executive Nicolas Julia told the Telegraph.
Sources close to the Premier League said discussions were at an early stage but that a move into NFTs was being considered.
Sorare, whose investors also include former England and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, has sold more than £100m of its limited edition trading cards this year. They are used in fantasy football games but have also become highly prized collectibles that can fetch six figure sums.
A deal with the Premier League would see Sorare pay to use clubs and players from English football in its collection. Additional fees could be due when the NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are traded.
Socios, which sells NFT fan tokens that can be traded like cryptocurrency, operates on a similar basis with individual clubs. It has signed up Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Arsenal as well as US sports teams.
The NBA has enjoyed huge success with Top Shot, its range of NFT highlights clips, totting up more than $700m in sales in less than a year.
Other sports organisations and players have followed suit, including Christian Fuchs, who offered a video of his Leicester City team celebrating their landmark Premier League title win as an NFT earlier this year.