Soccer NFTs are a relatively untapped industry
Ultimate Champions, a fantasy soccer platform developed by Unagi, has signed Arsenal FC to its growing list of partners. Developed on the Polygon blockchain, Ultimate Champions is looking to build big and reward players with the best knowledge.
- Ultimate Champions is a fantasy soccer game based on the Polygon blockchain. Players can trade NFT cards of soccer players to build the best team possible.
- Arsenal is the latest and possibly most significant team to partner with Ultimate Champions. Judging by the platform’s roadmap, more big names will be announced and they will be adding more sports to their ecosystem.
Ultimate Champions is a fantasy soccer platform on the Polygon blockchain that offers users the chance to own their digital player cards and win crypto tokens. Instead of playing against your friends for bragging rights, the idea is that you play to earn.
Unagi is the company behind Ultimate Champions and since last year, they’ve been signing partnership deals with a host of top soccer teams. The more teams that come on board, the more players their users can add to their rosters.
Ultimate Champions x Arsenal
Ultimate Champions announced its signing of English Premier League team Arsenal earlier this week. The soccer club from north London may not have won much in the way of meaningful silverware for nearly two decades, but it remains a powerhouse in world soccer and the partnership is a coup for the fantasy sport platform.
The deal means that Ultimate Champions has the full rights to Arsenal’s players’ images and can use them in their free-to-play squad-building game.
As usual with these deals, details on finance are scarce, but we imagine that cross-brand advertising will be a crucial part to it. So expect to see Ultimate Champions’ logos and branding scroll across the side of the pitch at the Emirates Stadium in the near future.
For players of Ultimate Champions, they will now get to add the likes of Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli to their fantasy squads and hope that next year, Arsenal can make a genuine effort at winning something worthwhile. And if they don’t, at least Ultimate Champions gamers can win something.
What is Ultimate Champions?
Ultimate Champions launched its first playable prototype in Q3 of 2021, and since then has ticked off plenty of milestones on its roadmap. At the end of last year Ultimate Champions launched its website, partnered with soccer clubs, sold its token privately and started its closed alpha.
The idea behind the game is simple. Players collect NFT cards of their favorite soccer stars and accrue points depending on their performance in games. If you get more points than your opponents, you win. It’s a mission: be the coach and build the best team possible.
Players can register 14 NFTs in their squad and pick 11 men for their team. If users’ teams reach a certain fantasy points threshold, they earn rewards. These can be a mix of Ultimate Champions tokens and new NFT athlete cards.
In the coming few months, Ultimate Champions wants to include more partnerships with more soccer teams. They also want to start introducing news sports to their ecosystem so fans of basketball, football, or maybe even motor racing should keep an eye on Ultimate Champions.
So it’s a new platform that has already made headway in an increasingly competitive space.
The isn’t soccer’s first foray onto the blockchain
Ultimate Champions is not the first soccer-based blockchain game. Being the biggest, most lucrative sport globally, it’s no wonder that others have already capitalized on its popularity. Here’s a list of some of the biggest projects currently bringing web3 to soccer:
- Sorare – similar to Ultimate Champions, Sorare is a fantasy soccer game where players can trade NFT cards to build the best team. It’s built on Starkware scaling solution on the Ethereum blockchain and has partnerships with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool. It launched in 2019 and investors include Gérard Piqué and Antoine Griezmann. Here’s a more in-depth look at the platform.
- Topps – this is a simple trading card game for German Bundesliga teams. Think Panini stickers in NFT form. It launched on the Avalanche blockchain and its makers have already experienced some success with an MLB version. Interestingly, the baseball cards trade on the WAX blockchain, but the company chose a different one for soccer.
- MetaSoccer – MetaSoccer made news in March by adding women avatars as playable characters on the platform. DappRadar reported on the story here. The game is all about managing a club and its players. You scout, you buy, you train and you decide tactics. But you also need to arrange sponsorship deals and use popular players to flog merch.
- RealFevr – combines fantasy soccer with digital collectibles. Users can collect animated soccer moments, in a way similar way to NBA Top Shot. These NFTs can then be used in a Fevr Battle Arena play-to-earn game. Of course there’s also a fantasy league.