The Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced a partnership with Sorare an NFT gaming firm. The partnership will make Sorare the official NFT baseball game partner of MLB. It will also provide fans with a platform to play fantasy games while purchasing, selling and collecting NFTs of MLB players. The game won’t take on the usual draft style of other fantasy games. And this will be its major point of difference. Finally, fans will build their unique teams from the NFT cards they own.
MLB partners with Sorare to create NFT game
Speaking on the partnership the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said: “The connections we build with our fans are vital and Sorare understands the importance of that bond”.
He further stated that. “The company’s focus on transforming fandom through an innovative combination of sports, technology and gaming to let fans truly own a piece of the game they love is unique and goes beyond borders — allowing us to bring the love of baseball to more fans across the globe.”
The details of the games, awards and prizes have not been finalized. But developing NFT games is not a new terrain for Sorare. Because the firm has developed similar games for soccer leagues such as the Bundesliga, Copa America and Major League Soccer. And these games included a variety of prizes for fans who collect NFTs. One instance saw fans win NFT cards that unlocked tickets to a game.
Some professional athletes have owned and sold their own cards in Sorare’s marketplace in past developments, which provides a unique angle for fans to engage and collect.
The partnership aims to increase the game’s audience
Part of the appeal for MLB was the 1.7 million registered users on Sorare’s platform, spanning 184 countries. It opens up the potential to connect with audience that baseball hasn’t been able to meaningfully reach in the past.
MLB has seen an annual decline in average attendance since 2007, when it saw 79.4 million fans drop to just 68.5 million in 2019. This decline in attendance is due to the impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic since 2020. So those numbers are not included in any data.
Sorare has seen a 32% month-on-month increase in active user growth and generated more than $325 million in sales in 2021 with an expectation to double it this year. Part of Sorare’s success is from partnerships with 247 soccer clubs. And this will now expand by adding MLB teams.
Tony Clark, executive director of Major League Baseball Players Association expressed his excitement about the partnership. And the impact it will have on the game.
According to Clark:
“Sorare has built a new baseball gaming experience that will excite fans around collecting players’ NFTs, building winning lineups and competing against baseball fans all over the world”.
He also added that the Players association is “very excited about our partnership and the effect Sorare’s first foray into North American sports will have on the growth of our game globally.”