Sorare has gained another major football club, as current Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic FC become the latest team to release digital player cards via the platform.
The launch marks Celtic’s debut in the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) space, and the club has outlined its core goals to further engage with fans and gamers and strengthen its branding internationally, in ‘fast-growing markets’ such as Asia and the Americas.
Harnessing new revenue streams is also a key motivator behind the club’s entry into the blockchain-based digital assets, which have been leveraged by a total of 240 football clubs including Liverpool, PSG and Real Madrid, as well as football leagues such as La Liga and Major League Soccer (MLS).
Adrian Filby, Celtic Commercial Director, said: “Today’s partnership is a fantastic opportunity to enhance Celtic fans’ relationship with the club and help them feel closer to their favourite players by giving them a chance to own and play with their online cards in a fantasy game environment every week.
“Celtic is also constantly identifying new and exciting opportunities to strengthen the club’s international brand and reach and engage Celtic fans from around the world, and we are delighted to be partnering with Sorare to achieve that with their global platform.”
Celtic’s launch on Sorare means that fans, collectors and fantasy football players using the platform will be able to collect, play and trade with digital cards of Celtic players.
Featured footballers will include James Forrest, the club’s current longest serving player, as well as team captain Callum McGregor and striker Kyogo Furhashi, as the team continues to lead the SPL table – although losing their place in the Scottish Cup earlier this month to arch-rivals Rangers FC.
For Sorare, the addition of Celtic represents another step in its global expansion strategy, with the platform having laid out an ambition on onboarding the top 20 football leagues globally in order to build ‘true connections’ between supporters and players.
“Sorare’s goal is to build the next sports entertainment powerhouse, and that means partnering with the most iconic and storied football clubs in the world,” added Nicolas Julia, CEO and Co-Founder of Sorare.
“As one of the world’s most decorated and successful teams, Celtic are no exception to this, and we’re thrilled to partner with them and enable fans at home and abroad to collect, trade and play their favourite players from this truly special club.”
Insider Analysis – leveraging NFTs/digital fan tokens is becoming an increasingly common occurrence in modern football, as clubs look to bolster their revenues and find new ways to engage with players – a trend accelerated by the lockdowns of the past two years.
These developments have not gone uncriticised, however – in October of last year the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) began to carry out enquiries into whether Sorare’s business could be classified as a form of gambling.