Lionel Messi Joins the NFT Space After Striking a Deal with French Company Sorare

Lionel Messi

Soccer star Lionel Messi is joining Sorare, the French NFT trading game, as an investor and brand ambassador.

The Argentinian, who currently plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain, will help Sorare set new standards in how fans connect with clubs and players, the company said in a statement Wednesday. They’ll also work to cooperate to offer new content and fan experiences, Sorare added.

Messi has taken an equity stake in Sorare as part of the deal, the company said. Nicolas Julia, Sorare’s CEO, and co-founder said the partnership with Messi marked a “huge milestone” for the company.

“We believe Messi will help us set new standards in how we do this, and we look forward to sharing what new content and fan experiences we’ve been collaborating on soon,” he told CNBC via email.

Sorare allows users collectors to trade digital player cards and manage teams of five in fantasy soccer tournaments. The cards are represented by nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, virtual collectible items that keep a record of ownership that is tracked on the blockchain. Sorare says this creates “digital scarcity” for each card.