It took a trip to China and visits with avid NBA game-used collectors there to convince Tone Stakes that the MeiGray name carried a lot of weight—even 7,000 miles from the nearest North American arena. Now, he’s partners with the company that handles game-used jerseys and gear for several NBA teams.
The MeiGray Group has launched a Game-Used Shoes division in partnership with Stakes and his company, Game Used Tone. The collaboration includes a new website with fully authenticated Game-Used NBA shoes from select NBA players.
“The work Tone has done over the past few years in developing the game used shoes market has been phenomenal,” said Barry Meisel, MeiGray President and Chief Operating Officer. “He has connected elite NBA players with the growing number of collectors all over the world who desire properly authenticated game-used shoes directly off the NBA’s floors. When we decided to implement a game-used shoes division, we looked for a person with a MeiGray level of skill and integrity. Tone is the guy.”
Stakes called the partnership with MeiGray a “dream for any game-used business.” He says the company’s authentication program “revolutionized” the market for game-worn jerseys. “Absolute authenticity is what the most educated collectors demand. Partnering with MeiGray will now allow us to do the same for game-used shoes.”
While interacting with collectors in China last year at several collector events, Stakes was struck by the desire for shoes with MeiGray authentication. “I was halfway across the globe and this is what the most astute collectors required,” Stakes said. “Our players’ shoes, with MeiGray’s unparalleled level of authentication. The collectors want security.”
Earlier in his career, Stakes worked for both Upper Deck and Panini in player relations, often handling licensing deals with several premier NBA players. Game-Used Tone currently has arrangements with Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Gordon Hayward, C.J. McCollum, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kendrick Nunn, and R.J. Barrett with more partnerships to be announced.