Talk about your journey in the hobby and how it led to landing at Mascot. Were there any lessons or feedback you picked up from Collectable that you will take with you in this new venture?
As an entrepreneur in the industry, and having co-founded a few properties such as Collectable and The MINT Collective, I was immediately excited when I thought about the potential of Mascot. I was evaluating a lot of opportunities and Mascot continued to win out because of its ability to solve real pain points and reduce friction across the industry - whether you’re a collector, dealer, marketplace, grading company, local card shop, or live event. It saves people their two most precious resources, time and money. Simply put, Mascot is the fastest way to list your sports cards, non-sports cards, TCG, and comic books - either graded or raw - on secondary marketplaces AND the fastest way for people to manage and price their inventory. What used to take days or hours, now takes seconds or minutes with Mascot. That’s why I joined Mascot, and that’s why we’re so excited to roll it out to the collecting community.
The last three years of trading cards have resulted in a huge influx and migration of collectors. With the current state of the hobby, is there a target audience for a service like Mascot?
The industry has undergone dramatic change over the last few years. On the pricing side, vintage, low population assets continue to show strength whereas modern assets have fallen back to earth dramatically. Still, the activity levels in the industry continue to be incredibly strong. The collecting boom brought a lot of human and financial capital to the industry and continues to elevate the industry to new heights and awareness. With Fanatics and other large firms such as Blackstone, Amazon, DraftKings, TikTok, IMG, IAC and others making meaningful investments in the category - along with teams and leagues now incentivized to promote the industry - I’m incredibly bullish on the future of collectibles. Think about it. Only about 1 million people collect out of a population of over 2 billion global sports fans, alone. That’s a tiny percentage today. Now compare that to sports gambling or fantasy sports, which are used by close to 20-25% of sports fans. And that’s just sports! This industry has huge growth potential if we can solve for ease of access, excitement, trust, and bringing the infrastructure up to speed. Mascot is an incredibly valuable tool to reduce friction and increase connectivity of the entire industry. Mascot will become even more important as the hobby continues to reach a wider audience. People will always have inventory that needs to be managed effectively and easily, and transacting will never go out of style.