Fanatics’ sports card takeover draws honest response from Leaf CEO
The 2021 Industry Summit has come and gone with some key insights about the sports card hobby. Of course, various card companies tried their best not to address the elephant in the room, which was Fanatics Inc. landing exclusive agreements with the NBA, MLB, and NFL. While most people in the hobby refused to speak, there was one who spoke his mind about this topic.
— Sports Collectors Daily (@SportsCollector) September 16, 2021
As the summit was on its last day, Leaf President Brian Gray said there’s a storm brewing. This was his way of describing Fanatics about to produce sports cards for the three major sports leagues in the United States, including the NBA. Gray added that it’s hard to know what to do when we don’t know what is coming.
Just last month, Fanatics Inc. shocked the whole industry by scooping up the licenses for the MLB, NFL, and NBA. This can be seen by consumers and industry insiders alike as the potential start of a monopoly in the card market.
Gray said that Fanatics will use its immense resources and E-commerce expertise to force every company in this industry to adjust in some form. He added that distributors, retail stores, dealers, and even box-breaking groups will be affected in some way.
For his own company’s part, Gray said that Leafs’ focus right now is to sign college athletes to make some revenue through their cards, autographs, and memorabilia items. He added that this is made possible under the new Name/Image/Likeness rules.
While Fanatics’ deal with the major sports leagues won’t happen soon, the ramifications are starting to be felt as early as now. Gray’s address during the Industry Summit serves as a peek at what’s in store down the line for the hobby.