Your Cart is Empty

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning No Longer Signing Tickets! Are Rookie Cards Next? Watch & Find out

May 06, 2022 6 min read

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning No Longer Signing Tickets! Are Rookie Cards Next? Watch & Find out

Tickets and rookie cards are starting to be banned from autograph signings. I've talked about this a little bit in the past and more recently on my Instagram, and Patrick Ryan also did an Instagram Live on this topic recently as well, so it carries some important weight in the industry and I figured it would be best to just pull it all together into one nice post that you can all refer to.

So today we are going to be discussing more specifically what is happening in regards to these signings, why it is happening, what I think things will be like in the future now, and if this is going to be a permanent change. Small spoiler, I don't think it'll be lasting forever! 

So what is actually happening right now?

Well, some athletes and athlete signings are starting to no longer allow for rookie cards and tickets to be autographed. For instance, I've got a Peyton Manning signing coming up pretty soon, and that's a Fanatics signing, and they are not allowing any tickets to be signed if they are sent in, but for the moment, they are allowing cards to be signed and allowing for inscriptions as well. So there are definitely some new rules popping up in the industry right now. It can get confusing and definitely be a bit of a pain, so you gotta be watching for these rules going into signings now and in the future. Pete Rose for instance, you cannot get rookie cards or tickets signed at this moment, and Mike Tyson as well has not been signing rookie cards for some time now, and will not be signing tickets either.

So, you're going to start seeing a lot of these kinds of rules and trends coming up in the future months now. It's like these signings have more rules than kids have at home. It's starting to feel a bit ridiculous. Of course, this also makes signings and the industry more complicated for you and for me. Absolutely, I am not exempt from the issues this can cause. If I've got 20 - 30 different signings scheduled to come up here, it gets confusing quickly to know which ones allow signings of this item and that item and which ones don't. 

Why is this happening you ask?

I can see why you might be confused on this whole matter. Don't these companies want your money? Well yeah, of course they do, but they don't want it like this, and that's what this probably comes down to. 

Absolutely, a lot of people that send in items for signings are just collectors. They like to keep a collection and look at it and show it off, and that's all it is for them, but there are definitely plenty of people that taking collecting a step further to make it profitable for themselves as well. We can all understand that I think. So a good number of collectors then buying and then selling for some level of profit.

So if you think about it like that then, it's almost like some people are getting these signed items for free. Of course, they pay for the ticket and to get it signed, but if they can sell it for enough to make a profit, that really doesn't matter then. Now, put yourself in the shoes of a company like Fanatics who is representing a player like Tom Brady. You send in a ticket to be signed by Brady and you just pay $300, but come on, it's Tom Brady, so of course you can sell that ticket for $1000 or something. From Fanatics' eyes, they just lost out on $700 that they could have if they just charged $1000 from the get-go for that signing, and that's what I think this all comes down to.

Fanatics has a lot of reach with their marketing. They control the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL websites, and so there is no reason from their perspective that they shouldn't want to corner the market and capitalize on the profits they could make with signings. Plus, think of it this way. Fanatics isn't signing these athletes like Brady, Burrow, Manning for just some thousands of dollars. No. They are signing these athletes to exclusivity for millions of dollars, and that is quite the investment to be making into a player, and so they are looking to get their returns on these athletes. Just think of the risk involved when signing an athlete. Obviously, not all athletes pan out they way we think they will, or it at least takes years for that return to start becoming profitable for a group like Fanatics. 

Let's use another example like Moises Alou. If you're a collector, you're probably only really interested in one piece of memorabilia from him, and that's an image related to the famous Bartman play. So, if you're Fanatics, then the only way you are really going to profit from having Moises Alou in your lineup, is by having full control of those Bartman play images. You don't just want people getting those signed for $100 and then turning them around for $300. That's lost money for Fanatics. Especially because as Fanatics, you took a lot of risk signing Alou just to have that one play be the only major marketable thing for him. 

Of course, from our perspective as collectors, it's easy to say, "Fanatics is just being greedy and trying to take all the money for themselves." I can understand that sentiment, but I don't actually think it's totally true. This is just good business to a company like Fanatics. Obviously, they are looking to get good ROI's, and so I can't blame them too much. I mean, look at Jason Domingo. They sign guys like that and things don't really pan out. So they have to constantly be figuring out how to get the best out of every situation. A company as smart of Fanatics isn't looking to totally upset their fanbase and the collectors. That's obviously not a smart move either. So I think there is a lot of balancing to be done here. 

So what's next? Where do we go from here?

Well, it seems clear rookie cards and tickets are falling into the no-go zone of signings, at least for the time being. Maybe this won't affect all athletes. Maybe it'll only be on the some of the bigger names. More importantly though, this should be a sign to you guys to take advantage of whatever signings are still allowing autographs of rookie cards and tickets. Take Peyton Manning for example. We've got a signing coming up and really it just costs a few hundred dollars or so. That isn't a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, so don't sleep on these opportunities!

Will these changes be permanent?

I don't really know, but I don't think they will be. I think this is going to more "transitory". Transitory, geez I sound like a government or administration official. But in all seriousness, I do think this will be a more fluid and ever-changing kind of situation. Right now, it's like the companies are hitting the brakes pretty hard, but I think they will figure out a better system in the future that better works for everyone. 

Plus, the collectables industry is constantly changing. Today everyone cares about tickets. Tomorrow they will care about cards, and then the next day FunkoPops. These constant changes also mean that signing rules will come and go as emphasis changes within the collector industry. Also, from a company perspective, I don't really think these businesses will be able to go through inventory fast enough for some of these rules to work long time. Do you really think Fanatics would be able to sell a lot of signed tickets for $1000 on their own? I mean, yeah, maybe in the beginning, but eventually people might lose interest and now Fanatics is sitting on all this stock with no demand, which means prices would go down or these rules would disappear as they realize they are happier at least getting something instead of nothing. 

So things probably aren't permanent, they rarely ever are. Eventually, we will probably see some things change. Maybe they will just increase prices a little and allow all items to be signed again. You really never know, but I wouldn't despair too much right now, plus, this whole ticket collecting part of the industry is fairly new in the grand scheme of things, so we really can't know how things will go too much at the moment. It might be a year or two, but things will change again.

Now on the subject of players like Tom Brady. Then these rules might never go away. Why would they? Tom Brady is known by everyone, loved by everyone, and Fanatics will ALWAYS be able to sell Brady items. So of course, Fanatics is probably never easing up on his items because he is practically money guaranteed in the bank at this point. 

So there you go, those are my thoughts.

Ultimately, right now, I understand these changes are a pain and nobody really likes them and it makes all these signings all the more complicated, but give it some time, and we will probably see some changes again. Trends come and go, and companies like Fanatics know that too. They are way smarter than we are in these kinds of situations. 

So yeah, hopefully that sheds some light on the whole situation for you guys. If you have some interesting insights, feel free to give your comments and thoughts!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.