eBay has partnered with two platforms that work to bring authentic sports memorabilia to fans, a further expansion of its “vertical” strategy in which it is focusing on certain categories, including collectibles like trading cards.
Former NFL player Emmitt Smith cofounded PROVA Group and Notable Live, and throughout the 2021-2022 football season, Smith will be auctioning off on eBay some items from his personal memorabilia collection.
eBay announced on Monday:
“Fans will have multiple opportunities during the season to get their hands on authentic, one-of-a-kind items like autographed trading cards and game-worn jerseys which Smith accumulated throughout the entirety of his football career, from his Pop Warner days to his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.
“As part of the eBay offerings, Notable Live will also be providing a unique live virtual experience where fans can meet Smith and other athletes face-to-face to hear stories about their playing days and the PROVA-authenticated pieces up for auction.”
On PROVA’s website, it explains Smith was inspired to do something about non-authentic collectibles after he found a football helmet with his autograph at a sports collectible store, but the signature on the helmet was not his.
PROVA states its interactive technology platform offers users a way to communicate, trade and sell confidently and safely.
Smith also teamed up with Mike Antonucci and Pat Smith to cofound Notable Live “to create face-to-face, virtual interactions between fans and their favorite notables via a one-of-a-kind LIVE! interactive platform.”
eBay’s head of Collectibles & Trading Cards Nicole Colombo said in today’s announcement, “We’re actively listening to our community to invest in new enhancements and bring the best collaborations to life. Today, we are thrilled to announce our growing partnership to deliver innovative offerings that bridge both commerce and experience for football fans, sports fanatics and eBay consumers alike.”
eBay also promoted its site as a resource for collectors, writing, “eBay sellers have a passion for collecting, which gives a variety of options for shoppers and provides the community with a reason to shop on the marketplace. The eBay marketplace also offers buyers a unique place to find a wide selection of sports memorabilia to add to their collection, from the ultra-rare to the common, everyday.”
You can find the full announcement on the eBay Inc blog.