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Gaming has long been at the forefront of innovation, said Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare. His company brings together people who love sports, collectibles and the community, and serves as the vehicle to learn about NFTs and become familiar with the technology.

on this week Podcast for most innovative companies, Julia explains how he has translated his love for football and a passion for collecting into a community supported by athletes. Sorare has quickly expanded into Major League Baseball and will soon include the NBA, all under one premise: Own Your Game.

Property is a primary concern for Julia, and something he’s tried to put back into the hands of players and collectors alike. “Billions of dollars are spent on games every day, and I think it’s crazy to think that the vast majority of [game items] are not the property of the gamers,” he says. “They can’t resell them, they can’t move them, and we want to change that.”

Therefore, he hopes that those who collect through Sorare can also connect in the physical world, by playing or watching sports, or both. “That is something that is very important to me. I really don’t want to contribute to this hyperconnection we live in. I want to at least help stabilize it, if not reduce it.”

He says he wants to be a “good” actor. “I think when a radical innovation comes out, there’s a lot of good actors and a lot of bad actors too, and a lot of people during the hype who come for the bad reasons and that’s hard for everyone.” As he explains it, the debate and dialogue around NFTs is a side effect of people experiencing something new and applying it to the world they live in.

But as Julia says, he’s not really in the NFT business – he’s in the collectible and fantasy sports business. “We do not market NFTs. It’s just the underlying technology that makes sense for the product we build. If you want to maintain scarcity in the digital world, you need NFTs. If you want to enable portability for your accounts and make them usable in different games or experiences, this is the way to go.”

“The conversation over the past few months has been about NFTs as a space, as a category, as a market, but it’s not – it’s just a technology,” he says. Or, as he sees it, a means to an end. A form of technology that enables connections – with friends, with passions, with the community. A collector’s item that itself facilitates connection.

Sorare, Julia explains, is ultimately a game, and fun too. “It’s very exciting for sports fans because they can play all the roles that exist in a team,” he says. That includes the roles of owner, sports director, coach, and of course player, as well as all the related responsibilities each entails, from talent tracking to management and playing. “You really own these cards and you can play them all season long and you can sell them freely.”

While it’s the technology that makes true ownership possible, Julia firmly believes that fans should experience the benefits without getting bogged down in the technicalities of it all. Comparing Sorare to Spotify, he explains it this way: When you listen to a playlist, you want to enjoy the music – and that’s how it should be. Yes, that music was brought to you by artificial intelligence, but that’s just a detail that doesn’t need to be explained.

Listen to the episode for the full interview.

You can listen and subscribe to Most innovative companies On Apple Podcasts, stitcher, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts from.

James Vincent is the guest host of londonbusinessblog.com’s Most innovative companies podcasting. He is also a partner and CEO of FNDR, where he helped the founders of some of the world’s largest companies, including Airbnb and Snap, use the power of stories to give voice to their vision. For FNDR and for over a decade, James worked with Steve Jobs to build Apple’s story.

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