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Companies Capitalizing on Olympic Year

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A Michael Phelps IPO at The Pit while Upper Deck stuffs Olympic autographs in Goudey product….and China has a few basketballs they’d like to sell you.

The Summer Olympics in Beijing are over, but interest in U.S. athletes is still pretty solid.

ThePit.com, which allows collectors to trade cards like a stock market, is holding an IPO event (Initial Player Offering) this Thursday at 6 PM Pacific time with the addition of the hottest card on the market – the 2004 Leaf Fans of the Game Michael Phelps Rookie.

Owned by SportsBuy.com, ThePit allows speculators and inventors to buy and sell with the option of never taking possession of the item.

Meanwhile, Upper Deck is offering fans and collectors the opportunity to chase autograph cards of some of the greatest U.S. athletes of all time with 2008 Upper Deck Goudey Baseball’s “Sports Royalty” insert set. This set includes famous athletes from a variety of sports, but there is a contingent of both former and current members of the U.S. team included.

Below is a checklist of the well-known American athletes included in the set:

Athlete

Event

Achievements

Amy Van Dyken

Swimming

6 gold medals, 4 in Atlanta

Bruce Jenner

Decathlon

Gold medal in Montreal

Cael Sanderson

Wrestling

Gold medal in Athens

Cynthia Cooper

Basketball

1 gold, 1 bronze

Dan O’Brien

Decathlon

Gold medal in Atlanta

Gary Hall Jr.

Swimming

5 golds, 10 medals total

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Track & Field

3 golds, 6 medals total

Janet Evans

Swimming

4 golds, 1 silver

Jenny Thompson

Swimming

8 golds, 12 medals total

Julie Foudy

Soccer

2 golds, 1 silver

Kerri Strug

Gymnastics

1 gold, 1 bronze

Kerri Walsh

Beach Volleyball

2 golds

Matt Biondi

Swimming

8 golds, 11 medals total

Misty May-Treanor

Beach Volleyball

2 golds

Phil Dalhausser

Beach Volleyball

Gold medal in Beijing

Rulon Gardner

Wrestling

1 gold, 1 bronze

Sanya Richards

Track & Field

1 gold, 1 bronze

Todd Rogers

Beach Volleyball

Gold medal in Beijing

“We felt it was important to highlight the achievements of some of the best American athletes of all-time with this set,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck’s hobby marketing manager. “Collectors will obviously feel a sense of pride when pulling these cards. They serve as a way to bring sports fans even closer to the games.”

Goudey is already in stores and online via eBay.


China plans to auction off 20 million items related to the Beijing Olympics, including the bed that basketball star Yao Ming slept in while taking part in the Games, state media reported Wednesday.

Also on the block will be game used basketballs, some autographed as well as electric appliances used by Liu Xiang, the celebrity 110m hurdler forced to quit the Games with an injury, and ancient musical instruments from the opening ceremony, the Beijing Times said.

There are so many items it could take up to two years to auction them all.

The auctions will be conducted by the China Beijing Equity Exchange, which mostly sells off shares in state-owned enterprises to private buyers.

The paper did not say how much the sales were expected to raise, but an earlier report said it could be as high as one billion yuan (145 million dollars).

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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