Record-Breaking LeBron James Card Sale Adds Momentum to Surging Industry

LeBron James card

Getty LeBron James speaks during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020.

The sports card industry is taking off, if you haven’t already noticed. This past week, a LeBron James rookie card went for a record $1.8 million and during the Last Dance, a Michael Jordan card broke records, too. After the record sale of the LeBron card, James commented on the sale mentioning that he had some of the same cards.

Nonetheless, it’s not just these specific cards. It’s the entire industry and hobby. Virtually all cards have seen an uptick in price both in the resale market and through hobby shops and card manufacturers.

Dealers Are Energized by the Surge in Business, With One Telling Heavy That Collecting Cards Is ‘Cool Again’

Through these strange times without sports; fans, collectors and others have all channeled their passion and love into cards. From high-profile names like Gary Vee to NBA players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and now James posting about their collections, it’s no longer unfamiliar territory anymore.

Over the past few months, I’ve jumped into the industry and gotten into card collecting. There’s still many things I don’t know, but in doing my research and expanding my knowledge base, there’s a lot to like about where cards are going. Graded cards are now listed on StockX, and people are posting and sharing their card collections all over social media. With that comes more demand and increasing prices.

“I think people are realizing collecting sports cards is cool again especially with the way American culture is moving,” part owner of Blez Sports Cards, Chad Bleznick told Heavy. “More celebrities are showing off their collections and it helps attract people to come into the hobby.”

Right now, there’s a variety of ways to collect cards. You can buy on eBay, buy over other marketplaces, buy packs and boxes through local or online stores, or buy into breaks. Everyone knows the latter terminology, but breaking is likely something you haven’t heard of.

In the card industry, there have always been hardcore collectors and fans that would go after specific players or teams. In this instance, you’re likely buying single cards off of EBay. However, breaks give you the opportunity to buy into a pack, box or case at a smaller cost as you buy a specific team, or even player.

A form of gambling, entertainment and large payoff (if you hit), breaks have taken off as the entire industry has. Most breaks you can watch live, as they open packs one by one, with your team and name associated to the break. These streams from a variety of companies are getting 100’s of viewers as fans, newer collectors without massive budgets and collectors join in on the fun.

There’s Hope for Continued Momentum After Live Sports Return

“Over the past 6-8 months our breaking operation has nearly doubled in size,” Bleznick told us. “We are currently breaking 24 hours a day with 2 channels. New people come into the room every single day and a lot of them are new to the hobby. I am very excited for the future of where sports cards are going to go.”

It’s not only the break that’s enjoyable to watch. The diverse group of people watching is chatting as the break is happening, making it a community-like atmosphere.

Blez Sports Cards has been doing these for years and is known as one of the first to be 24/7. Bleznick, an established, long-time card collector, posts videos and informative videos on card brands, cost analysis and values of specific cards.

Overall, the industry is continuing to grow as more and more fans clamor to the idea of picking up their favorite teams and players. Even when sports do come back, expect this trend to continue as it’s similar to a stock market for players. The newbies who’ve gotten into collecting are going to continue to collect and that’ll continue to expand and grow the popularity of cards.

So if you haven’t already decided to collect cards, it may be time to start thinking about it.

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