The Future of The Hobby

Get a glimpse into the future of the sports collectible hobby. Discover emerging trends, technologies, and opportunities that will shape the industry in the coming years.

7/17/20232 min read

The sports collectible industry has witnessed an unprecedented surge in recent years, capturing the attention of a diverse global audience. A blend of nostalgia, investment potential, and the sheer thrill of the chase have turned this once niche hobby into a mainstream market. As we look towards the horizon, emerging trends, innovative technologies, and burgeoning opportunities promise to shape the future of this dynamic industry. Here are some key aspects to watch:

1. Digital Transformation and Blockchain Technology

Perhaps the most profound shift on the horizon is the transition towards digital. Blockchain technology is enabling a new wave of digital sports collectibles, most notably, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These digital assets offer a unique and verifiable form of ownership and have already gained significant traction in the sports industry. The NBA's "Top Shot" platform, for instance, allows fans to buy, sell, and trade officially licensed NBA highlight clips. As blockchain technology continues to mature, it could reshape the way we collect, trade, and authenticate sports memorabilia.

2. Mobile and Social Media Engagement

As the next generation of fans delves into the hobby, mobile platforms and social media will play an increasingly important role in how sports collectibles are shared and traded. Apps like BUNT by Topps are gamifying the collection experience, creating a social network around trading digital cards. These platforms foster a sense of community, making collecting an engaging and interactive experience.

3. Fractional Ownership

Fractional ownership, the idea of owning a piece of a valuable asset, is making headway in the sports collectibles industry. This model opens the door to fans who want to own a piece of their favorite player's memorabilia but may not have the means to afford the entire item. Fractional ownership can democratize the hobby, making it more accessible and affordable for a wider audience.

4. New Markets and Sports

As the hobby grows globally, we can expect a wider array of sports and athletes being represented in the collectible market. Soccer, cricket, and esports are gaining ground, and their global fan bases could fuel a new wave of collectible items.

5. Sustainable Collectibles

In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of environmental impact, the sports collectible industry may need to address sustainability. From eco-friendly packaging to digital collectibles that reduce physical waste, sustainability might become a significant consideration for collectors and manufacturers alike.

6. Augmented and Virtual Reality

AR and VR technologies present exciting opportunities for enhancing how fans interact with their sports collectibles. Imagine viewing a digital card in AR or visiting a virtual museum showcasing your collection. These technologies could add a new level of immersion and interactivity to the hobby.

The future of the sports collectible industry looks bright and full of possibilities. As new technologies and trends reshape the landscape, one thing remains certain - the enduring appeal of owning a piece of sports history. The evolution of the industry will undoubtedly present opportunities and challenges, but the passion of fans and collectors will continue to drive the market forward. Buckle up, because the next chapter of sports collectibles promises to be an exciting ride!