• Bundesliga trading cards and NFT transactions will generate $179 million per year

  • In the 2023-2024 season, the German football league Bundesliga’s non-fungible token (NFT) partnerships, together with sticker and trading card licensing, will produce €170 million ($179 million). The revenue is over four times the value of the current season’s rights.

    The league is involved in three different projects. Topps, which has officially licensed the Bundesliga’s physical trading cards since 2008, has extended its NFT rights for the 2020/21 season. Sorare renewed its contract with NFTs of Bundesliga players for fantasy football until 2025, which was originally negotiated in 2021. In addition, OneFootball obtained licensing rights for digital trading card collections as well as video-based NFTs of Bundesliga highlights.

    OneFootball is the sole new collectibles partner, albeit it was already a Bundesliga media partner.

    The Bundesliga’s total revenues fell by around €400 million during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, most likely as a result of the epidemic. The additional money stream from the NFT and collectibles contract is critical for the league’s teams, particularly lower-ranked teams who rely more on ticket revenue.

    Bayern Munich earned more than €600 million in revenue in the 2020/21 season, accounting for more than 17% of the league’s total earnings. Because such relationships are controlled at the league level rather than through individual team deals, the popularity of top teams such as Bayern Munich undoubtedly raised the value of the deals, benefiting smaller and lesser income teams.

    “The clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are receiving an important piece of planning certainty in difficult economic times”, said Donata Hopfen, DFL CEO. “The investment from our partners underlines the enormous popularity that German professional football enjoys. I am delighted that the design of the right packages with classic products and innovative digital opportunities has been well received”.

    The Bundesliga is the world’s fourth most popular league, trailing only Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, and England’s Premier League. The Premier League’s NFT rights were reportedly worth up to $590 million over four years, with four NFT platforms vying for them, including Sorare. In the 2019/20 season, the league earned £4.5 billion ($5.6 billion), more than $2 billion more than the Bundesliga. The €170 million from Bundesliga collectibles rights will be split among the three sites, while Premier League rights appear to be handed to two providers. Because the Bundesliga contains stickers and real trading cards, the figures are not comparable, and the Premier League figures are not yet finalized.

    Meanwhile, OneFootball just closed a $300 million Series D round of fundraising, and Sorare has grown outside football through collaborations with the Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour.

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