The Topps Company and Press Pass Inc. announced Wednesday that they will offer Michael Sam autographs in its upcoming football products. ESPN reported Sam's agent also had deals in place with Panini, Upper Deck and Sage.
The SEC’s co-defensive player of the year from Missouri will become the first openly gay player in NFL history once he signs a contract. He’s expected to be taken somewhere in the middle rounds.
“Based on the historic nature of Mr. Sam’s announcement, we wanted to find a way to include him in 2014 Press Pass Football without impacting our release date,” said Nick Matijevich, VP of Operations for Press Pass Inc. “This promotion allows us to accomplish this goal, while delivering the first on-card autographs of Michael to fans and collectors. While the current narrative surrounding him is in regards to his noteworthy revelation, we fully expect his talent to shine through during the draft process, leading to more coverage of his dominant contributions on the field going forward.”
Press Pass 2014 football will offer six autographs per hobby box. Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and other members of the upcoming 2014 draft class have signed autographs for the product.
Matijevich told ESPN that Sam was on the periphery of a list of 100 prospects the company was considering for its set but when Sam made the announcement he was gay it was "a no brainer" to include his card.
"I think we'll get a lot of non-traditional collectors chasing these cards because they want the opportunity to own Michael's autograph and be part of history," he said.
Instead, collectors will have the opportunity to send in the UPC code from their box to receive a bonus Press Pass Signings Michael Sam autographed card, while supplies last.
2014 Press Pass Football features a 50-card base set and is slated to release on March 5. Collectors can claim their free autograph by sending their hobby box UPC code, along with a hand printed 3” x 5” card with their name and complete address, including their email address, in an envelope to:
9805 NorthCross Center Ct, Suite H
Huntersville, NC 28078
Topps announced via social media it had reached a deal with Sam to put his autograph in its flagship football product, set to be released in August.
Sam also had a card produced for use at this year's Senior Bowl Fan Frenzy, many of which are autographed. Click here to see what is currently available.