Shop owners and hobby pros at the Industry Summit who were hoping for some insight on the future of trading card licenses in the major sports didn’t get it on Tuesday.
Topps isn’t part of the program in Las Vegas but Panini America used its time in the spotlight to focus on its new UFC deal, bringing in fighters and outlining future plans. They took no questions.
There hasn’t been any confirmation from the leagues, players unions or card companies about Fanatics’ reported deal to acquire MLB, NFL and NBA licenses in the coming years so the reluctance of any of the card companies to address the matter isn’t surprising.
A panel of “influencers” later in the day included Josh Luber, the StockX founder who is believed to be playing a key role in Fanatics’ card division, indicated there was work going on behind the scenes but beyond that, the Summit wasn’t the place to learn about what might lie ahead on the licensing front.
It wouldn’t be an Industry Summit without an authentication and grading session and there was plenty of interest from a group of hobby shop owners and others who came to Las Vegas for the annual event.
A standing room only crowd in a smaller ballroom offered attendees the chance to ask questions and gain insight. The panelists were Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero of Beckett Authentication. You’ve seen Grad on Pawn Stars, a reality series set in a Las Vegas pawn shop that has been going strong since 2009. In fact, Grad used part of his Vegas visit to shoot episodes of the show on Monday.
Much of the discussion centered around Michael Jordan.
“He is definitely the most forged autograph today,” said Grad, who indicated most of the recent forgeries have come from overseas.
Topps may be losing its MLB license, but they did secure an extension of another deal on Tuesday. The company announced it would be continuing its partnership with UEFA, including the Champions League, Europa League, Women’s Championship League and this year’s inaugural UEFA Conference League.
In addition to trading cards, Topps also plans to create versions of selected collectibles products as NFTs.
“It’s great to offer our community and football fans across Europe and the world not only the best players, but also the greatest moments in the upcoming seasons,” stated Topps’ Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Rausch. “As UEFA’s exclusive partner for collectibles, we are not only taking a huge step towards the future together, but we’re also taking collectibles to the next level.”
Topps has been the UEFA’s partner for six years.
Sixty-two items used in the annual hockey game between New York’s fire and police departments are being sold at auction through MeiGray.
Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9-11 and the 343 firefighters who died in rescue efforts on that day, all proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Ray Pfeifer Foundation, which assists first responders with medical expenses not covered by insurance as a result of 9-11.
Jerseys, autographed sticks and game-used pucks from the game at Madison Square Garden last week are all part of the auction, which runs through September 30 on MeiGrayAuctions.com. Most minimum bids range from $20-$100 per lot.
The auction follows a similar event conducted last week through the HandBid app.