Today at 12 PM EST, Rally is set to IPO a '2003 UD Exquisite Collection Michael Jordan Card' (/100) and a '2003 UD Exquisite Collection Lebron James Card' (/100). On Sunday, they released a '2003 UD Exquisite Collection Limited Logos Kobe Bryant Card' (/75). The financials:
2003 UD Exquisite Collection Michael Jordan (BGS 9.5)
2003 UD Exquisite Collection Lebron James Card (BGS 8)
2003 UD Exquisite Collection Limited Logos Kobe Bryant Card (BGS 8.5)
We spoke with entrepreneur, angel investor, and card collector Dan Fleyshman about these IPOs and the rising popularity of the sports card industry.
1. The sports card market is red hot. Why now? Is it here to stay this time, and can it sustain its momentum?
Dan Fleyshman: Exactly a year ago at “The National Conference” in Chicago, Gary Vaynerchuk asked me to come by the largest sports card convention for a day, I ended up staying the rest of the week because I could see the passion and the momentum beginning. We’ve all witnessed since then a remarkable growth in demand, excitement and price points. Most recently this Summer we’ve seen the market get white hot, from superstar rookies to brand new wax boxes and old school vintage basketball. The reason I believe its here to stay is that the demand is skyrocketing however the supply is rapidly shrinking and the live sporting events that we’ve missed out on all year, really just started back up a few weeks ago, so the momentum is going to continue vertically until at least after the NBA Championships is my guess.
2. What is your sports card investment strategy?
Dan: I have a very strict strategy that I’ve been sticking to, so that I don’t get “Shiny Object Syndrome.” I buy 8 young superstars: Zion, Ja, Luka, Trae, Rui, RJ, Booker, Giannis. I invest in my generations hall of fame type players: Jordan, Lebron, Shaq, Durant, Kobe. Hold onto like artwork some Vintage cards: Dr. J. 1972 Topps #195, Magic/Bird, Lew Alcindor 1969 Topps #25, Wilt Chamberlin 1961 Fleer. Then I chose 1-2 players per sport, and bought a bunch of their rookie cards like Kyler Murray, Juan Soto, Jasson Dominguez, Andre Agassi, Tiger Woods and Kylian Mbappe. Now, even though I’ve laid out my exact cards and strategy, it doesn’t mean that I don't believe there are other HUGE potential cards and legendary players to invest into, I just wanted to be hyper focused and buy a bunch of each of the cards on my list, instead of branching out into a ton of different endless options. Easy to get distracted when theres so many great players in each sport.
3. Talk to us about the grading services: PSA vs. BGS vs. SGC. Which do you prefer and why?
Dan: PSA is far & away my number 1 choice and largest part of my collection. Every group chat I have about sports cards, all feel the same way. BGS & SGC graded cards still have a place in the market, and they will continue to grow over time, however PSA gets the highest price value for a reason, they’re the clear winner in the space for now.
4. What superstar’s card is currently undervalued and makes for a smart investment right now? Overvalued?
Dan: I look at moments in time and big marketing opportunities for players that could sharply increase their cards value. Kobe Bryant is a legend, we’ve seen his cards ramp up again these last few weeks, the Hall of Fame this year will be a deserving increase in his card value, but also if you just think about how many business people and industry executives that are in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are jumping back into sports card collecting, one of their obvious choices of players to collect is Kobe Bryant, so I believe his cards will continue to grow in value for reasons like that. Other examples are obvious like if Ja Morant wins Rookie of the Year and Giannis wins MVP + Defensive Player of the Year, then we’ll see their card prices raise even more in value due to those special moments in time. On the contrary, when a player like Bol Bol has a good viral video and his cards increase that dramatically, then I obviously believe thats overvalued. Another fun thing that I think about is on the marketing side of a player like Devin Booker, he’s such an awesome player on the court, but also is dating Kendall Jenner who has well over 100 million followers which leads me to think about how famous Booker will continue to get over time. I take all these things into account when making an investment decision in players, just like stocks on the market.
5. The MJ market in particular has been crazy since The Last Dance. Your answer to this question potentially goes in tandem with question 1, but is it time to sell MJ cards and memorabilia, or buy more?
Dan: The rise of Michael Jordan card value did correlate with “The Last Dance” but also similar to my theory about all these business people, Dads, industry execs that started investing this year into Kobe Bryant are the same collectors who want Michael Jordan’s cards. Michael will always be the G.O.A.T., even if Lebron James or another player becomes a legend, it doesn’t take away from Michael Jordan who put NIKE on the map decades ago and still sells out shoes with his name on them today. So I firmly believe that if you’re up a large % and want to take some money off the table, its never wrong to take your profit. However, I’m still buying more and more Michael Jordan cards as recently as this week, so that should give you an indication of how I feel about investing in MJ for the long run.
6. MJ is the GOAT. Kobe is gone too soon and his autographs will be harder for collectors to come by. Lebron looks poised for another finals appearance in the bubble. If you had to choose to buy / sell / trade these 3 Exquisite Collection cards today, what would you do and why?
Dan: Buy: Lebron because he’s still actively playing and he will do lots of investing and TV in the future so he’ll always be relevant.
Sell: Kobe, there was already a huge spike on his cards, and I believe it will go up more, but I don't have a crystal ball on how much more.
Trade: Jordan, because you can get a lot of value in trade for the G.O.A.T.!
Bonus Q: Favorite card of all time?
Dan: 1985 Michael Jordan NIKE Promo card because it’s just such a LARGE card, its fun to hold & look at.
There you have it! Thank you, Dan.