New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Dream Sports, India’s leading sports technology company, have joined forces to build cricket’s first-ever comprehensive suite of digital fan engagement products in an exclusive five-year deal.
A significant move on the cricketing landscape, the partnership will create unique, fan-focused avenues across Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Gaming and Merchandising through Dream Sports’ portfolio.
Dream Sports’ flagship brand Dream11 has been NZC’s Official Fantasy Sports Partner since 2019. The uptick witnessed in fan engagement over the years, including Dream11’s Title Sponsorship of the Dream11 Super Smash, has led to the new all-encompassing partnership with Dream Sports to unlock its full potential.
This gateway to the 140 million-strong user-base of Dream Sports in India will be instrumental in building a successful suite for NZC, including its debut in cricket NFTs – to be developed by Rario, creators of the world’s first cricket NFT platform.
Rario is the latest addition to the Dream Sports portfolio after it led a $120M Series A round last month through its CVC and M&A arm Dream Capital. It has the largest share of cricket NFT rights globally and, with access to 140 million users of Dream Sports, is set to become the world’s largest cricket NFT platform.
Rario will launch NZC’s cricket NFT program and enable cricket fans to engage as a community, and own a piece of NZC cricket history through digital collectibles across player cards, video moments, and cricket artifacts; with FIAT-only products offered in India.
Additionally, a next-generation mobile game will be built by Dream Sports’ game development arm – Dream Game Studios, and a complete sports merchandise range, to be hosted on its premier sports content and commerce platform – FanCode in India.
NZC chief executive David White said the new partnership with Dream Sports represented an exciting step into the metaverse for his organisation, opening up a new world of opportunities for New Zealand cricket fans.
“One of NZC’s key goals is to extend our teams’ global reach; to build closer relationships around the world, and to develop new ways for fans to engage and connect with the deep history of our sport,” he said.
“We’re delighted to be aligning with Dream Sports that is right at the forefront of the industry: innovative, go-ahead and well-known for putting fans and subscribers first.”
NZC GM Commercial, Chris Smith said the agreement would be a game-changer for NZC’s fans, taking fan engagement to an unprecedented level.
“The long-term relationship we have with Dream Sports is very special so it’s fantastic to be building on NZC’s existing partnerships with Dream11 and FanCode in this way.”
“We would also like to acknowledge the players and the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association for their support of the arrangements.”
Speaking on the partnership, Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer, Dream Sports said, “We are excited about the next big leap in our association with New Zealand Cricket, and look forward to exploring its full potential for fan engagement through the Dream Sports portfolio.
“The first-of-its-kind collaboration will enable deeper engagement opportunities for sports fans through newer avenues like NFTs, Gaming and Merchandising, in a phased manner; and lead by example in keeping fans central to the sport.”
Through this partnership with Dream Sports, New Zealand cricket fans will now be able to engage as a community, enjoy a holistic match-experience, and even own a piece of the historic moments captured in their full action glory.
Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports’ mission is to ‘Make Sports Better’ for fans through the confluence of sports and technology.
Over the years, the company has exclusively partnered with multiple associations, leagues, and players across sports to bridge the gaps in fan engagement. Some of the current exclusive partners include the Tata IPL, ICC, BCCI, Cricket Australia, The Hundred, La Liga Santander, and Vivo Pro Kabaddi League.