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Rudy Gobert: "American basketball is a huge market for Sorare".

Rudy Gobert: "American basketball is a huge market for Sorare".

French basketball star Rudy Gobert, who plays in the United States, has invested in NFT nugget Sorare.

The news. French basketball star Rudy Gobert (who has just joined Minnesota) has invested in NFT nugget Sorare.

The background. After football and baseball, Sorare, which is valued at more than €4 billion, has signed a partnership with the NBA (basketball).

Why this is important. Sport is one of the sectors where NFTs are developing the most.

The Big Whale: You've just invested in Sorare. Why?

Rudy Gobert: I've been interested in the whole Web3 universe for two years. I spotted Sorare last year because it's a sports-related company and it's a big success in France. I was lucky enough to meet the team and Nicolas Julia (read our exclusive interview with the boss of Sorare), we talked a lot about sport, crypto, and as soon as I had the chance, I invested.

How much have you invested?

That's confidential.

What do you like about Sorare? How are the NFTs an asset, a plus?

I like the team, that's an essential point. But beyond that, it's the vision that really convinced me. Today there's a technology, blockchain and this whole Web3 universe with cryptos and NFTs, that are enabling us to reinvent economic models. What I mean by this is that Sorare is not just a football, baseball and basketball game where you collect cards, it's also a new experience.

Sorare doesn't just connect fans to clubs, it also connects fans to each other. A lot of people have the impression that it's no big deal, but it's a real revolution that will affect all sectors, not just sport.

Some regulators are interested in Sorare and could reclassify it as gambling. Don't you see this as a risk?

I invested because I'm confident.

What do you think of the criticism of Web3?

It's normal. Technology is constantly evolving. Today, we're talking about blockchain, cryptos, we're in the innovation period where it's a bit uncomfortable for people. As with the Internet, no one yet sees where it's all going to lead. It's something new, people find it hard to imagine another world, that's always the way it goes.

Many top sportsmen and women such as Gerard Piqué, Kylian Mbappé and Serena Williams have invested in Sorare. Did their presence also play a role?

Forcely (laughs). But it all goes back to the vision of Sorare and the team. They want to get users and also sportsmen and women more involved. I'm not the only basketball player to have invested. Blake Griffin has also invested.

Speaking of sportsmen and women, Sorare has just signed with the NBA and the American professional basketball players' union. Did you help them?

I did everything I could to help them. I've been playing in the United States for several years, I know the NBA well, and I get on very well with the head of the players' union. This agreement is an excellent thing for everyone.

What will it change for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and for Sorare?

In the United States, sport is a separate industry. There's a real sector-based economy that constantly needs to innovate, and Sorare is part of that innovation. And for Sorare, American basketball is a huge market. We're talking about tens of millions of fans. Americans are big sports fans and like to collect everything around it, so it should do very well.

We're only at the beginning: there's still plenty to do with Sorare to improve the game, the experience, to enable collectors to maximise their investments while having fun.

Do you invest a lot in start-ups?

I've been investing in start-ups and companies in different sectors for a few years now. I've already made several investments in Web3, including CoinZoom, which is an American exchange platform and the official crypto partner of the Utah Jazz team. CoinZoom works with Visa. They have developed a dollar-crypto interoperability system. If you have the CoinZoom "Visa" card, you can pay in crypto just about anywhere.

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