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SportVerse Podcast Episode 8- Rario gets funding from Dream Capital and other NFT news

The nexus between Sports and Business.

My first update is about the growth of Cricket on Web3 – Rario, a NFT based Cricket game has raised $120M in fresh funding. The funding round was led by Dream Capital, the venture capital arm of India’s biggest fantasy sports platform Dream Sports. This funding ensures that Rario also gets access to Dream Sports’ 140 million users, who will be offered fiat-only products in India. Investors have been opening up their money purses for India-based cricket NFT platforms. Cricket NFT marketplace FanCraze is raising around $100 million in a Series A funding round Bloomberg reported in March. So, it seems like Cricket is the next big game in Sports on Web3.

My second update is about a new NFT project from the NBA – The NBA and NBPA are launching a new NFT project called The Association NFT. The NFT design will be dynamic and keep changing over time. NBA has launched 18,000 NFTs for the 2022 NBA Playoffs participants, 75 for each of the 240 rostered players. Almost 2,000 of those NFTs will go to Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot NFT owners based on being some of the top collectors of each NBA team on Top Shot. The NFTs will be minted on Ethereum with gas paid for in ETH. NBA is utilising their partnership with Coinbase and is directing fans towards Coinbase to set up a digital wallet and are giving fans an option to link their Metamask wallets too. After minting the NFTs, they can be viewed in your wallet, on TheAssociationNFT.com and on secondary marketplaces, like OpenSea.

Sticking to the Basketball, this week there was news about the New York Liberty becoming the first WNBA Team to launch NFTs.There will be 400 NFTs with similar designs, but each has its own unique serial number when they are released. Fans can get one of the NFTs by pre-ordering a ticket to the opening game through a special website. The most interesting part is the artwork. The exclusive NFT drop celebrates the intersection of nail art culture and sports through the lens of New York Liberty. The Liberty drop is the first of its kind franchise drop after the successful sell-out of the WNBA drop last year. 

My third update is from eSports with NFT-based eSports platform Mokens League announcing on Wednesday the completion of their $2 million seed fund round. The platform announced that the funds would be used to finish the development cycle of a game as well as to install and maintain game servers worldwide to provide a latency-free gaming experience. The multiplayer game platform also announced the launch of its in-game currency, the MOKA token on the Polygon network, which will serve as the main utility token in the ecosystem of company-developed eSports games and in the future for third party games that get integrated into the Mokens League Platform. They will start with a supply of 500 Million MOKA tokens and most of this supply will be held for distribution throughout Mokens League games.

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Update number four is from Scotland where the Glasgow Rangers have snubbed the SPFL sponsorship agreement amid ‘conflicting commercial obligations’ over the league’s NFT deal – SPFL has unveiled a deal with Sorare for a fantasy football game using NFTs featuring Scottish footballers. These NFTs cover 11 of the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs. However, the Rangers are not involved in this sponsorship deal. Sport Business reported that Rangers have opted out of the collective deal citing “pre-existing commercial obligations”. Rangers are apparently being onboarded separately by Sorare. This is a bit strange but maybe the Rangers are looking at a better negotiation than the collective bargain through SPFL.

And the last update is from Australia where the AFL has signed a deal with Animoca Brands to release a range of NFTs.

The Australian Football League is all set to release a range of NFTs after striking a five-year agreement with Hong Kong-based digital collectables company Animoca Brands.

​​The range, to be released under the AFL Mint brand, will feature iconic moments from past and present. It will include moments from both the AFL and AFLW competitions. The AFL has signed a deal with the AFL Players’ Association that will see players receive 20 per cent of revenues from NFT projects.

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.