Card companies have been putting pieces of game-worn jerseys, bats and other equipment in their products since the 1990s. Now, another company is bringing the swatch concept to a new market.
Relic Wear LLC has been negotiating agreements with the estates of sports greats from the past and acquiring pieces of game used gear to create bracelets, pendants and key rings. The game-used memorabilia fragments are visible through windows on each product.
The company creates a unique serial number engraved inside its bracelets that match a security hologram on a certificate of authenticity that is included in each piece.
Relic Wear recently signed a two-year licensing agreement to incorporate the images and trademarks of baseball legends Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams for new items it plans to roll out. Pieces of game-used bats will be part of a new line of baseball bracelets that will include player combinations like Gehrig/Babe Ruth and Williams/Joe DiMaggio
“We are spending a great deal of time and energy on the details. The packaging, inserts, quality, and bonus items to make sure that this is the perfect gift for baseball fans,” said Relic Wear founder Alex Malone.
Currently, the company offers 24 different products from the four major sports. A key ring with a swatch of Steve Yzerman’s game-worn jersey runs $15. Bracelets featuring bits of game-worn jerseys from great baseball teams of the past generally sell for between $90 and $140.
The jewelry includes tiny pieces of game-worn fabric with a theme (members of the Big Red Machine, Yankee greats, etc).
“So far we have done internet only sales, but the goal is to build the distribution chain into retail stores,” said Alex Malone, founder of Relic Wear.
Plans also include a collectible plastic card inside each package that has a code good for a free book about the athletes from Audible.com that can be played on iPhones, ipods, PCs, and Android phones.