The Japanese J League is looking towards blockchain to boost engagement, through a new partnership with trading card game Sorare.
Footballers from the J.League have been ‘tokenised’ and made available as digital player cards so people can freely buy, sell, and transfer their cards in Sorare and on other games.
Nicolas Julia, CEO at Sorare, stated: “Soccer is the second biggest sport in Japan and it is growing rapidly thanks to the Japanese Football Association ambitious development strategy. We are proud to help the J.League and Japanese football shine even more in Europe and the Americas with our game. This agreement is a key step in our vision to create a global fantasy football game with the top 20 football leagues in the world.”
Sorare was developed using Ethereum blockchain technology and has steadily gained momentum since its launch in March last year.
Alongside the new partnership with the J.League, the fantasy football platform has agreements with more than 78 clubs including Roma, Juventus, Olympique Marseille and West Ham.
The partnership will also allow J.League teams to develop a presence on Sorare, which is accessible to a worldwide audience. Moreover, Blockchain licensing represents a new revenue stream for the J.League which was previously not made possible.
Each player will be issued with one ‘unique’ card, 10 ‘super rare cards, 100 ‘rare’ cards as well as unlimited free common cards. Additionally, users sell cards as cryptocurrencies, with Sorare creating auctions for certain special cards such as ‘player of the week’ in order to create a living football-based blockchain ecosystem.
The news follows on from the firm’s successful seed round in which Sorare raised $4m which included investments from World-Cup champion André Schürrle, Partech and Fabric Ventures, among others.