Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

Easily the biggest headline in sports and crypto this week? The biggest league in basketball adding another crypto partner to the rolodex with Sorare. Sorare completes the league’s ‘triple threat,’ with Dapper Labs serving as the league’s NFT distributor, and Coinbase the league’s official crypto exchange.
Each weekend, we cover all of the biggest stories from the past week in crypto and sports. Let’s dive into the NBA’s latest deal, and all the other major stories from the past week.
The Sports Slice
The NBA’s Latest Web3 Partnership
Sorare is making the North American market push. After securing the MLB as a partner earlier this year, Sorare has doubled down with another ‘big 4’ sports league, the NBA.
The partnership was largely unexpected, as the NBA hasn’t shown much issue with it’s existing NFT partner, Dapper Labs, and their Flow blockchain that powers the NBA’s (and WNBA’s) Top Shot product.
Should Dapper be concerned? In our report last week, we took a look at the bullish and bearish perspective. On one hand, Dapper was communicating to community members that it was looking forward to releasing it’s gamified ‘Hardwood’ product, essentially a fantasy-inspired utilization of Top Shot NFTs. Sorare has seemingly come in and secured it’s position to fill that gap.
On the other hand, competition breeds better products and this move will certainly keep Dapper on their heels – and the NBA deal doesn’t seem to be in jeopardy. This could be the NBA seeking an ‘aces in their places’ approach and bringing in Sorare for their particular focus: building fantasy-style NFT platforms for sports leagues.
While Dapper still has plenty to write home about when it comes to a growing list of partnerships, Sorare’s emergence into the North American market should likely come across as a major competitor for Dapper, who hasn’t had a formidable challenge in the market yet. While both products can certainly co-exist, only time will tell how this dynamic plays out.
Report: Sports NFT Market Doubles In 2022, Up To $2.6B This Year
A new study from Market Decipher reveals that the sports NFT market doubled from $1.3 billion to $2.6 billion this year, and forecasted growth is anticipated to progress at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.3% – which could see sports NFTs hit a market cap of $41.6 billion by 2032.
The report calls out four main buckets that can spur NFT growth: cards, accessories, collectibles and video clips. Limited edition video clips have led the way for sports NFTs this year, according to the report, with the North American market leading the charge.

Should Dapper Labs be concerned? The largely dominant NFT player in sport in the U.S. market is facing a formidable challenger in Sorare, who is unleashing fantasy game NFTs with major leagues like the MLB, the NFL, and now the NBA. Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain (FLOW) likely has continued headwinds to come. | Source: FLOW-USD on
Warriors’ Co-Owner Swinmurn Launching NFT Project
There’s no shortage of crypto-advocates and NFT fans throughout San Francisco. Look no further than some of the ownership behind the NBA franchise Golden State Warriors. Zappos founder and Warriors co-owner Nick Swinmurn is launching his own fantasy-sports inspired NFT game, according to reports this past week.
Swinmurn is working on ‘Play Hellebore,’ where various NFTs allow access to certain features and capabilities. The game will enable users to leverage a blockchain to predict pro sports games outcomes, beginning with baseball, football and soccer.
Gaming & Esports: Yeeha Games Implements Fiat Ramps
Bybit-backed Yeeha Games has released nearly a dozen games in the GameFi space to date, and in recent days added a new partnership to it’s slate. Yeeha announced that they will be working with Cabital for a fiat on- and off-ramp, as well as no gas fees on crypto transactions.
GameFi continues to find it’s niche in crypto despite substantial headwinds.
We Follow Up With Ocavu’s Jon Cheney
In last week’s ‘Slice,’ we covered a new partnership deal between BYU Athletics and growing blockchain firm Ocavu. Following that report, we took some time to sit down with Ocavu CEO Jon Cheney, and talked through Cheney’s perspective on NFTs, growth in sports, and more. You can read the full transcript here.

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