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Sports Cards to NFTs: How the sports market has changed forever?

By Jack Koblitz

Over the course of history, trading cards have been a thing of love and joy for any child involved with them. The joy of going round to the corner shop to buy a couple packs of stickers or trading cards then the eagerness to run back home in order to open them straight away, in the hope of that special 100 Club Cristiano Ronaldo was hiding inside your lucky pack.

The future of investments has come a long way and is forever expanding with what you can invest in order to receive a long- or short-term profit. Sports cards and NFT’s have become a global phenomenon over the last 2-3 years ever since there was a global pandemic, vastly popular in US sports such as the NBA and the NFL.


An once enjoyment for children to receive a couple packets on a Saturday morning after their school week is done has turned into a crazed phenomenon where millions are spent on singular cards. The wide love and interest of the sports card market has opened a new atmosphere for the fans and, the athletes from a business perspective and enjoyment of the hobby.

The rise and interest of sports cards over the last 2-3 years has shown with some of the ridiculous prices that are being paid for singular cards. The list of different cards ranges from the 1950’s to the current day, whether you want Lebron James or Michael Jordan, the sports card market has it all for the right price. One of the most expensive sports trading cards to sell to date is a 2003-2004 Rookie Patch Autograph Lebron James, that was estimated to have been sold for over 5 million US Dollars.

Even upcoming superstars in the world of sport like Patrick Mahomes who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs in the American’s NFL franchise have huge figures put towards their cards. A 2017 rookie autograph sold for over 4 million US Dollars at a private auction, making it at the time of July 28th, 2021, the most expensive NFL trading card sale to date.

Rising figures for the sports cards has allowed for people to quit their everyday jobs in order to focus on selling & trading assets they might once have seen as just a piece of paper that was laying around in their house. With the influx of new modern technology every week there has been a rise in the number of people creating content on YouTube to help children who might want to get in the hobby young, under the key term ‘elevating the hobby’ for the next generation. However, what are NFT’s and why are they important to the Sports market as a whole?

The term NFT refers to an asset in the digital world that can either be bought or sold through a website platform and has become a one-of-a-kind piece tangible form of media. Essentially, they are digital tokens that can be bought and traded by a fandom of the person or organisation that are producing the content. An NFT provider that is dominant in this market is NBA Top Shot that sells various digital memorabilia e.g., Lebron James dunk that only one or two people have access to. This small accessibility to the product type allows for people to make profit off their piece of history.

It is important to note that the prices of these one-of-a-kind products can fluctuate depending on real life circumstances e.g., if Kevin Durant is doing well in real life, his NFT moment could rise in price producing a much greater profit for its owner. Also, it allows for athletes to feel empowered as they are making themselves a brand which they might not have been able to do before and have control over it.

In 10-15 years’, will NFT’s be around, or will another source of content take over the market that exploded due to a pandemic?

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