Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is in the memorabilia business.
The Basketball Hall of Famer, along with Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment, have opened Starguard Collectibles (SGC), which will license and sell authentic, autographed merchandise directly from players.
Showtime Laker teammates Byron Scott, Michael Cooper and AC Green, as well as UCLA alum Bill Walton will join Abdul-Jabbar in his first release of memorabilia. The group said Monday it has an NBA license.
Each piece of SGC memorabilia is certified with a patent-pending Certificate of Authenticity that includes each athlete’s signature and DNA via their thumbprint. In addition to items such as game-worn clothing and basketballs, fans can purchase hand-painted floorboards from sports artist William Zavala.
The company plans to offer proof of its signatures through an authentication process it will oversee using a patent-pending thumbprint process together with a notarized signature from the athlete and a tamper-proof hologram.
“The next best thing to meeting your sports hero in person is seeing them through videos and photos as they sign the sports memorabilia fans want most,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “It really bothered me to go to card shows and see fans wait in line for hours only to be denied a signature because their item or jersey was counterfeit. Our fans are the reason we’re able to do what we do and get paid for it, so we want them to feel confident that they’re purchasing 100% authentic sports memorabilia.”
Starguard also uses videos, photographs, ID numbers, and an online database verification system.
They are also offering a new higher quality, six-inch wooden basketball display case with the logo of a favorite NBA team.
Also involved in the program is former Yankee manager and new Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Joe Torre, who plans to use the venture to raise money for his charitable organization Safe at Home, which unmasks domestic violence.
SGC’s marketing relationship with Amazon.com will allow athletes to reach fans directly on an international scale. Starguard says Signatory athletes will promote the items on their own social media outlets.
Abdul-Jabbar has been working on the venture with his long-time business manager, Deborah Morales.
The company will only sell autographed merchandise that comes directly from its athletes.
You can see what they’re offering here.