Serial entrepreneur, social influencer and CEO of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, never had the chance to attend “The National” when he was a young card collector and “investor.”
So to say he was “giddy” at a Wednesday afternoon panel discussion to open the 40th edition of the “Super Bowl of Sports Collectibles’ was an understatement. The pre VIP Party special appearance also featured Josh Luber, co-founder of StockX, an online marketplace that is credited with beginning the wheeling and dealing of collectible sneakers in our culture.
Vaynerchuk and Luber were in fact, childhood baseball card collecting friends that met in a New Jersey diner having lunch and talking card collecting and investing.
“I’m incredibly humbled to be here,” admitted Vaynerchuk in his opening remarks. “I’m an immigrant from the (former) Soviet Union and grew up in New Jersey among the lemonade stands and having sports cards.”
Vaynerchuk, worth an estimated $50 million was an early investor in many tech companies, including Twitter, Tumblr, Uber and Snap.
He says his foundation and business acumen developed while buying, selling and trading baseball cards as a youth. He was earning thousands of dollars a week flipping cards from Kenny Lofton to Michael Jordan. He is still buying sports and other cards as investments and he sees the industry experiencing major growth the next two to three years.
Why growth in the industry as we head into 2020?
Vaynerchuk says that the kids of collectors from the 80’s are now able to share the hobby and its ups and downs with Dad, or in some cases, Mom. The same can be said about the toy industry and popularity of participation in certain sports.
In customary Gary Vee form, he gave out some tips on “what to be on in the coming years.”
1. Soccer – The popularity of soccer in this country keeps growing. That could soon lead to the growth of soccer cards and collectibles.
2. Baseball Cards as Art – He can envision having people over to your house and no longer showing off a sculpture or painting, but a collection of certain baseball cards, all displayed as art work.
3. Sneakers – Vee said Luber is on to something with StockX and the sneaker culture in this country and around the world will continue to explode.
4. De’Aaron Fox – Vaynerchuk must have brought up the name, De’Aaron Fox, at least six times during today’s discussion. He’s buying Fox cards and collectibles as an investment. He acted like the 6’3″ Fox is going to be the best player in the NBA at some point. Fox has had a good start to his career, but nothing to get most NBA collectors that excited.
Vaynerchuk isn’t just talking about the hobby. He’s rented booth space at the show and was selling cards, signing autographs and taking photos with anyone who asked.
— Sports Card Investor (@SportsCardInv) July 31, 2019
He’s also in a partnership with Topps that resulted in a Gary V-branded card set that’s being sold at the NSCC.
Huge news : @Topps and I teamed up for curated set called “garyvee direct 360”
Super personal set and super fun 🙂 pic.twitter.com/oigkM8mzMu
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) July 31, 2019
One caution as the panel discussion wrapped up. Vaynerchuk reminded those in attendance that you can also lose a lot of money in cards and warned about being “too speculative” when it comes to rookie or cards of young players. In other words, do your homework.
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