OneFootball, the international soccer content portal, has today (May 17) announced a two-year global digital collectible licensing deal with German soccer’s top-tier Bundesliga starting in 2023.
From the start of the 2023-24 campaign, the platform will become an official partner of the Bundesliga in a deal that will see the league “tap into OneFootball’s vast user base … to bring Germany’s top-tier competitions into the world of Web3.”
Running through 2024-25, the partnership will entail fans across the world receiving access to official licensed digital collectibles from top Bundesliga clubs and players.
Fans will be able to collect and trade the digital player card non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as exchange them on the Bundesliga’s “personalized digital marketplace” that will be run by OneFootball. The portal has secured the exclusive rights for NFT-based videos from the Bundesliga too, which will be known as ‘digital video moments’ and can also be collected and traded.
The products will be “offered at a range of price points to make them widely accessible”, with purchasing available through only an email address and a credit card.
The deal builds on an existing long-term collaboration between Bundesliga International, the league’s global affairs division, and OneFootball.
In September 2020, the site struck a deal to become the official broadcast partner of both the Bundesliga and the second-tier 2.Bundesliga in Brazil until the end of 2022-23.
Lucas von Cranach, founder and chief executive at OneFootball, said: “As the official partner of this incredible organization, one of the most innovative leagues in the world, we have the chance to build an even longer-term relationship that gives us the chance to take tens of millions of football supporters from Web2 to Web3.
“As a founder and as a fan, this is fantastic for our organization and for fans around the globe.”
Donata Hopfen, the Bundesliga’s chief executive, added: “The investment from our partners underlines the enormous popularity that German professional football enjoys. I am delighted that the design of the rights packages with classic products and innovative digital opportunities has been well received.”
The NFT platform on which these collectibles can be bought and exchanged, Aera by OneFootball, is being built by the soccer platform in collaboration with Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs.
Earlier this week, OneFootball announced a new streaming partnership with CONMEBOL, the South American soccer confederation.
Through the agreement, running from 2023 to 2026, OneFootball users across Brazil and Latin America will have access to a new highlights format for South America’s top club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.
Starting from the 2023 season, fans will be able to view near-live highlight clips, from all games, as well as full post-match highlights after the final whistle. All highlights will be free to view.
The deal covers 314 matches per season, including every game of the Libertadores and Sudamericana, as well as both matches of the Recopa Sudamericana, a match-up between the winners of the two club competitions.
The portal has also appointed Peter Silverstone as its new senior vice president of global development.
He will be tasked with overseeing OneFootball’s network of clubs, leagues, federations, and players (CLFP).
Silverstone was previously at English Premier League giants Arsenal where he spent almost seven years in multiple roles, most recently as chief commercial officer.
The Bundesliga-OneFootball deal has been announced on the same day that the league hailed an increase of 280% in the value of its global sticker and trading card rights for the next cycle, from 2023-24 onwards.
The total income across that sector, which includes NFTs, from that season onwards will be in excess of €170 million, the league has claimed.
On that front, Hopfen said: “The investment from our partners undermines the enormous popularity that German professional soccer enjoys.
“I am delighted that the design of the rights packages has been well received.”
Aside from the aforementioned rights secured by OneFootball, the Bundesliga’s partners in this sector are trading card heavyweight Topps and fantasy gaming firm Sorare.
The packages have all been tendered and awarded by Bundesliga International.
Robert Klein, that division’s chief executive, has now said: “We will continue to work very closely with our partners in the coming years and support them in satisfying demand for existing products and new ones from fans all over the world.”