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🥵 Trouble In The Sorare Streets?
Featuring Sorare's blogger revolt, the state of NFT sports, Top Shot pack marketplace, and the best hockey game there will ever be.
I like Sorare. I like Nicholas the founder. I like following the platform.
I typically play a bit of Sorare at the start of both the MLB and NBA season. They’ve built something really cool over there that demonstrates an incredibly simple yet effective use of NFTs.
And I’ll say right away that I’m not an expert when it comes to Sorare’s features, gamification, design, and overall approach. I am not the core user - I simply don’t play and bet enough.
But from what I can tell, some of its most hardcore users are beginning to question the platform’s sustainability.
The turmoil seems to have come following a blog post from the Sorare team titled “Improving The Sorare Manager Experience”, which details updates to the navigation, live scoring, and “My Club” features.
What it apparently failed to address are declining market values, and how Sorare plans to continue to draw revenue without further diluting supply with new auctions (sounds familiar…)
Since then, various community members have taken to blogs to discuss these broader issues and even suggest possible solutions.
User mpenn_10 wrote a piece about the diminishing returns, reduced “fun”, and how expectations from the earlier days may have seemed unrealistic. He points to these posts from top users as evidence of the displeasure.
He even suggests a new play system dubbed “SO Rating” which would blend a variety of currently silo’d factors - such as tournament performance, quality of opponents, and division strength - into one match-making rating system. Users would compete in divisions based on their SO Rating, and rewards would be distributed proportionally to the divisions.
Click on this image below to read the full piece.
And then there was a piece from SorareGrind, where the hardo dives deep into alternate revenue-generating ideas to replace the constant need to sell new cards.
He explains that solely changing gameplay mechanics will not address the underlying issue of card value decline.
Now to balance it out, user SRMonkey who wrote a more moderate piece about how the challenges of the bear market have affected the platform’s trajectory and details some enjoyable strategic elements.
Now, do these user-written articles mean Sorare is dead?
No. Far from it.
On the market side, Sorare is alive and well.
The platform did $13M in secondary sales in August, it’s highest total since February 2023. There 41k+ individual buyers in September, just a touch below the August total of 47k.
But this type of user-generated press is not good, and points to a problem we’ve seen on the collectible side as well. A problem that can be summarized in the form of two questions that users are asking:
Why am I not getting more value from this?
Why should I continue to hold as values decline?
I don’t have the answer. No one does. It’s a general problem across all NFTs right now, even the well-gamified ones like Sorare.
But at least in their case some of these recent problems could be remedied by taking the Draft Kings route and infusing the rewards with an obscene amount of money.
Now enough about Sorare.
Let’s get onto the rest of the stories of the week.
👑 LeBron Goes for $6,100 on…Panini? What?
I have no idea whats going on here to be honest.
But apparently its true and one of many big sales on the Panini NFT platform in the last few weeks.
🧠 Could Sports NFTs Be Better?
We asked, and you answered.
Are Sports NFTs in a good place right now? Are you satisfied? Are you waiting for the next bull run, or for marketing to finally “turn on”?
We turned to the community to help answer these difficult questions.
I particularly enjoyed that last one, where I had to point that sports NFTs stretch way beyond just Top Shot and All Day (to the shock of many, I’m sure).
My opinion? We’re getting there.
I’ve always split sports NFTs into three categories: 1) Collectibles 2) Fantasy 3) Gaming. And each of those is at different points of the race.
Collectibles were part of the boom, but still trying to find their product market fit. I’m not fully convinced that everyday sports fans will ever want to buy video clips.
Fantasy is the leader right now, as Sorare and Draft Kings boast by far the most active users across all the platforms. But their ceiling is the same as regular Fantasy sports - its limited to people who want to bet.
Gaming is the up-and-comer, with NFL Rivals regularly showing off decent numbers and the same developer (Mythical Games) launching titles like Nitro Nation.
What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.
🏒 The Greatest Hockey Game Ever?
If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you know what I’m talking about.
The mythical yet seemingly possible hockey match:
The First Mint vs Own The Moment
From the very early days of 2021, we have publicly teased and baited the community with this absolutely wild proposal.
On one side, Own The Moment - your favorite Joker-fuelled fantasy platform, also known for its analytics of major projects like Top Shot and All Day.
On the other, The First Mint - your hometown heroes, destined for glory and born in the heartland of hockey (Canada).
Although the idea for this game has been dormant for a while now, OTM co-founder TJ Laessig reignited the rivaly this week after tweeting out some jersey mockups.
Naturally, we had to respond with jersey mockups of our own.
And yes, in this process, we recruited fellow french-canadian Arsonic for this epic battle of web3 giants.
🚀 Top Shot Packs 3x in Price
If you listen to the pod, you know I mentioned this on Monday.
Instant pack re-selling could easily bring users back to Top Shot.
Not the users they necessarily want, but these types of headlines will definitely draw in the flippers and “rent seekers” of old.
This week, TS dropped yet another historical pack and retroactively released rookie moments for today’s biggest stars (Giannis, etc.).
And the packs were the first non-Series 1 to be featured on the pack marketplace…and they’re selling for a healthy 3x the mint price ($49).
Why the price bump?
The top moments are going for top dollar, and there’s a Luka Doncic challenge on the horizon. Kind of like the good old days!
We’ll see what happens once its non-superstar rookies though. We all know there will be a crazy amount of packs sold this year, so who knows what the pack MP will look like in a few months time.
**This is not financial advice. Nothing in this newsletter, podcast, or publication should be considered financial or trading advice of any kind. Please do your own thorough research and make your own trading decisions. This is not advice.”
About The First Mint
A web3 sports community. Collectibles, NFTs, and Metaverse.
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