Though there has been a rise in interest in sports cards in recent times, investing in sports cards has been a hobby for over 150 years. From baseball to golf, sports cards are a way to invest in your favorite sports, players, and teams and connect with your local and social media communities through trading, buying, and selling. The pandemic has certainly played a hand in influencing the sports card revival, but there are a number of factors to consider when looking at why investing in them has become more and more popular over recent years.
COVID-19’s impact on sports cards
As a result of the pandemic, sports card investing, collecting, selling, and trading became abundantly prevalent as it is a safe and entertaining stay-at-home hobby. With the lack of sports on TV, sports card investing became an entertainment pastime. The rise in popularity can also be attributed to the increase in social media use in recent years. The ability to open Instagram stores and sell cards or start a live video on TikTok to open a box of cards is a form of entertainment for both the viewer and the content creator. The usage and simplicity of social platforms have also increased the popularity of selling cards. As long as you have access to a mobile device or computer, social media is always available to help you begin your investing journey.
Why you might decide to invest
Many people feel there are a number of benefits of investing in sports cards that may be as simple as the excitement and joy it brings to people who are big sports fans or avid collectors. The chance that cards have the potential to increase in value rather quickly is also something that entices many - whether that’s to show off a high-value collection to others or turn around and sell them at a higher price. In addition, there are endless types of cards across several sports, so chances are that you will never get bored or run out of opportunities to invest in new cards! While sports cards can increase in value quickly, that also means they can decrease, so there is always a risk if you decide to invest your money into this type of asset. That said, it is a hobby, and investing in cards takes patience if you want to build up your collection, but the reward that can come about is worth it.
Nostalgia, culture, and community
When the world shut down, the card investment industry did the opposite. Baseball card collecting, in particular, is one of the largest components of the card-trading industry, and demand is propelled by many collectors who continue to invest in cards; largely because they still enjoy their childhood pastime. The growth of nostalgia through sentimental value put on these cards created a sense of community and has become one of the most active communities of sport with the potential of continued growth with the help of a digital revolution and being able to transform with modern technology to expose a re-found culture. The culture of trading cards represents the desire that sports fans have to obtain and own the most exclusive and one-of-a-kind collectibles. Now, both collectors and athletes have taken advantage of this new and evolving culture and community.
Athelo Group athlete, DJ Diveny, is an ambassador for sports card industry giant, Topps, a leading producer of American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and other sports and non-sports-themed trading cards. He utilized his platform on social media to showcase the latest collection of soccer players with box breaking content. With over 80,000 views on his last video, it’s clear this kind of exclusive content gets fans and followers excited to see their favorite players on new fresh cards and brings his community of followers together to share their interests in these cards, sparking engagement and driving consumers to check out the new collection.
NIL and trading cards
Trading card companies like Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini have a specific process when it comes to creating a one of one card. This is entirely specific to the manufacturer and extremely valuable to an investor. Though there aren’t many opportunities for professional athletes or brands to partner with these card companies to create specific or personal cards, Topps and Fanatics have come up with a new way to work with non-professional athletes. With the ever-evolving NIL landscape, Fanatics launched college trading card programs, securing NIL trading card rights for college athletes in football and basketball across multiple schools. This new program allows student-athletes to increase engagement with their fans and creates opportunities for card investors to purchase lower-valued cards to show their support and excitement for this new era of athletes and trading cards.
All in all, investing in sports cards is widely viewed as a rewarding hobby to take up whether it is for entertainment, nostalgia, or the chance to interact with your community. As a growing and evolving global phenomenon, we don’t see this going out of style any time soon.