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Pro League claims first with cryptocurrency deal

The First Division A, the top tier of club football in Belgium, has entered into an innovative partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform Sorare.

As part of the agreement, the Pro League – which operates the top-tier competition and the second-tier Proximus League – will issue crypto-digital cards representing players.

The Pro league claims the deal, the length of which was not disclosed, is the first of its kind for a professional football league.

Sorare users will be able to buy cards of their favourite players, see their value evolve according to their performance in real life and exchange them with other users via an auction mechanism. Fans will then be able to earn rewards.

Sorare is set to announce further partnerships with other clubs and leagues across Europe in the coming weeks.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.