Bundesliga inks deals with OneFootball, Sorare and Topps.
The German Football League (DFL) has awarded licences worth more than US$179m for stickers, trading cards and NFTs to three companies: OneFootball, Sorare and Topps, which is a 208% increase from their previous deals.
From the 2023/24 season, OneFootball will serve as an Official Partner of the Bundesliga and gain the rights to create digital trading cards and video moments NFTs, which could be collected, traded and sold on their Aera marketplace. Sorare will gain exclusive rights to use NFTs based on the Bundesliga players in a fantasy game, while Topps will have the rights to create physical digital stickers and trading card game and NFT equivalents of the same.
All of the NFT-based agreements will last till the end of the 2024/25 season, while Topps’ physical stickers deal will last until the end of the 2028/29 season.
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Robert Klein, Bundesliga International, Chief Executive, commented:
“I didn’t know the acronym ‘NFT’ until March 2021 [with] the partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Dapper Labs for NBA Top Shot. I think everyone involved in sports and media saw this.
“We decided to make sure we became as expert about technology as we could and if we didn’t know something, we would go and ask other people who knew the answers. How do we package [these rights] so we maximise the revenue we need for the clubs but also structure it in a way that we’re taking care of the fans and all the concerns that come with NFTs?
“We believe we’ve managed that there’s a separation we’ve made between static NFTs and ‘moments’ which are more like NBA Top Shot. We’re still treading cautiously [and in two years’ time is] the end of the domestic TV cycle. The space is always evolving and I’m sure the package we’ll be selling in two years’ time will be fundamentally different.”
Lucas von Cranach, Founder and Chief Executive of OneFootball, added:
“We couldn’t have imagined when we first started working with the Bundesliga that we would build the partnership and achieve official partner status. Now as the official partner of this incredible organisation, one of the most innovative leagues in the world, we have the chance to build an even longer-term relationship that gives us the chance to take tens of millions of football supporters from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0.
“As a founder and as a fan, this is fantastic for our organisation and for fans around the globe. Our vision is to connect the world of football and amplify the game. This long-term relationship means we can do just this, giving fans the opportunity to own digital assets – so they have more access, more ownership and get even closer to the game we all love, in a way that’s never been done before. And where better to do this than with one of the best leagues in the world which is home to so many of the most exciting players.”