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  • DFL extends agreements with Sorare and Topps
  • New partnership with OneFootball covers static and video clip-based NFTs

The German Football League (DFL) has awarded licenses worth more than 170 million euros ($179 million) for stickers, trading cards and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to three companies, i.e. a 280% increase over its previous agreements.

From the 2023/2024 season, the digital football platform OneFootball will be an official partner of the Bundesliga and will have the right to create digital trading cards and video “moments” NFTs that can be collected, exchanged and sold on its Aera market.

Meanwhile, Sorare will have exclusive rights to use Bundesliga player-based NFTs in a blockchain fantasy game, extending an initial two-year deal struck last October, and Topps is securing the rights to create physical digital stickers. and a trading card game and NFT equivalents.

The three NFT-related deals will run for two years until the 2024/2025 season, with Topps’ physical deal potentially lasting until 2028/29.

“We could not have imagined when we started working with the Bundesliga that we would build the partnership and achieve official partner status,” said Lucas von Cranach, Founder and Managing Director of OneFootball.

“Now, as an official partner of this incredible organisation, one of the most innovative leagues in the world, we have the opportunity to build a longer-term relationship that gives us the chance to bring tens of millions of supporters through from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0.

“As a founder and a fan, it’s fantastic for our organization and for the fans around the world. Our vision is to connect the world of football and amplify the game. This long-term relationship means we can do exactly that, giving fans the ability 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 has never been done before. And what better way to do that than with one of the best leagues in the world home to so many of the most exciting players.

The deal furthers OneFootball’s ambition to become a major player in the emerging market for sports-based Blockchain products. It believes its $300 million strong user base and partnerships with some of the industry’s major players position it well to become a market leader, especially with $300 million of new funding secured. at the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile, the partnership marks an evolution in the Bundesliga’s nascent NFT strategy and provides additional revenue for clubs in its two divisions.

At the recent SportsPro Live event, Bundesliga International chief executive Robert Klein said the relatively short-term deals reflected what was a rapidly changing market, while being designed to ensure the DFL met its obligations to the clubs and fans.

“I didn’t know the acronym ‘NFT’ before Match 2021 [with] the partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Dapper Labs for NBA Top Shot,” he said. “I think everyone involved in sport and the media has seen this. [and took note].

“We decided to make sure we became as tech savvy as possible and if we didn’t know something we were going to ask other people who did know the answers.

“How to pack [these rights] so we’re maximizing the revenue we need for the clubs, but we’re also structuring it to take care of the fans and all the concerns that come with NFTs?

“We think we’ve nailed that…there’s a separation we’ve made between static NFTs and ‘moments’ that are more like NBA Top Shot.

“We continue to move forward cautiously [and in two years’ time is] the end of the domestic television cycle. The space is constantly changing and I’m sure the packaging we’ll be selling two years from now will be fundamentally different.