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  • IS O.J. SIMPSON MEMORABILIA STILL WORTH ANYTHING THESE DAYS?

    O.J. Simpson could be granted parole today Thursday 7/20/17 after serving nine years at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada for armed robbery and kidnapping. O.J. was charged following an incident on Sept. 13, 2007 in which he stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room with a group of men and made off with a hoard of sports memorabilia.

    The Pro Football Hall of Famer said his goal was to retrieve his own personal items, which he believed to be stolen, from collectable dealers at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. O.J. was the precursor to modern-day stardom, capturing the Heisman Trophy at USC before emerging as the best running back of the 1970s, earning five consecutive All-Pro selections (1972-76) and winning NFL MVP in 1973. Simpson also seamlessly transitioned into the film industry as a part-time actor, appearing in multiple instalments of "The Naked Gun" franchise. At the peak of his popularity, Simpson memorabilia fetched exorbitant fees.

    Prior to his 1995 double murder case, where he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, Simpson's game-worn jerseys could reportedly be sold for five figures. But like his damaged image, Simpson-related sports collectibles have depreciated significantly over the years.

    However, there remains at least a small market for signatures and souvenirs of "The Juice," whose NFL career ended in 1979. "It's slightly been up a little, just because he's not out there signing stuff," said Mark Hansen, internet retail manager at Legacy Sports Cards in Las Vegas. "When you look at signed photos of him, most of the time, you're looking at $75 to $80." Hansen said most collectors are interested in signed helmets and photos stemming from Simpson's tenure with the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. "We've had a couple signed pieces over the last four, five years and they sold," Hansen noted. A prolific running back may not be the first thing that comes to mind when Simpson's name is mentioned today, but some collectors value his items on par with fellow Hall of Fame talents such as Jim Kelly and Jerry Rice, Hansen said. Although others aren't finding the Simpson market as robust.

    In many ways, according to Jeremy Brown of Ultimate Sports Cards and Memorabilia in Las Vegas, Simpson is not unlike some other exiled stars of yesteryear - a popular talking point, but not someone whose autograph people are willing to pony up for. "It's kind of like smoke and mirrors. There's a lot of people talking about it, but there's not a lot of people buying it," Brown said. "You know, it's much like with Pete Rose, people come in and (say) like, 'Oh, Pete, you should be in the Hall of Fame, this and that,' and everybody's got a story, but not a lot of people these days are spending money on him. "Same thing with O.J., they all come in and it's like, 'Hey, hey, you got an O.J. rookie card?' And they're not really serious about buying. There's a buzz out there but it doesn't necessarily translate into sales for us." Due to his complicated profile, there will always be interest in Simpson and, by extension, his playing career, Brown believes. Determining the real value of Simpson's collectibles market remains confounding for trade experts, however.

    "He'll always have a market, he'll always have value but it's not necessarily in line with status, based on what he did on the field," Brown said. "Even early in his acting career, he had a great reputation, a great market, a lot of fans. But obviously, his off-field antics has kind of diminished that image. He'll always have somewhat of a market, but not where his days of being on the field do it justice, you know?" Simpson may be granted parole Thursday, but his legal history looms large like an ominous cloud. "The only thing O.J. we would have would be cards, rookie cards, things such as that. I try to make it a point not to carry items from convicted felons," Brown said.

  • The Way of Wade

    Dwyane Wade recently announced the upcoming release of his newest signature shoe, Way of Wade 6, with Chinese sneaker brand Li-Ning. The first images of the WoW 6 were posted by Wade himself, on his Instagram page.

    Five years ago when Wade announced his endorsement deal with Li-Ning, the common consensus seemed to be that the then Miami superstar was crazy. After experimenting with Converse, who had given him his own signature shoe by his third season in the league, Wade had finally landed with a true sneaker giant. But after just three years with the Jordan Brand, Dwyane again decided to shake things up, and go his own way.

    Ditching the biggest most recognizable shoe brand in the world for a relatively unknown Chinese sportswear company might seem like an absurd move to make, but only if you don’t know Dwyane Wade. His entire career, he has been visibly trying to forge his own path and create his own empire.

    You may be familiar with Stance socks now, as they are the official outfitter for all 30 NBA teams. But the 2009 start-up didn’t start earning basketball recognition until they signed Dwyane Wade as their first sponsored athlete. Only Wade’s deal wasn’t for basketball socks, instead, he created his own line of dress socks. He was the first athlete to sign a sock deal completely separate from his shoe deal.

    In addition to the socks, Wade has a fashion deal with Tie Bar. Not surprisingly, he is the only professional athlete with his own line of ties. Dwyane also has a partnership with Mission brand clothing, where he is the only sponsored NBA player but the second most recognizable athlete partner – behind tennis icon Serena Williams. Recently Wade released his own capsule collection with DSquared2, featuring a suit + shorts ensemble that fits Dwyane’s personal style to a T. And to top it off, Wade has now teamed up with Amazon Fashion, giving him yet another outlet to market his many clothing lines.

    “What you’re trying to do is set up a brand that is lifelong, like Michael Jordan,” Wade says. Not many athletes have the creativity and the individuality to turn the prime of their career into a starting point of a lifelong branding mission. But that’s precisely the path Wade chose for himself. “At that moment, I started thinking differently. I started thinking about life after. I started thinking about what moves I can make, what positions can I put myself in to give myself an opportunity.”

    All of these unique sponsorship deals culminate to create the Dwyane Wade brand, as it is. A brand that he has been meticulously plotting and building for the last decade. LaVar Ball has gained fame and notoriety, in part, because of his attempt to create his own brand for his family, and his basketball playing sons. But for the better part of his career, Wade has been doing the same, just a little more under the radar.
    “I’m very open with my kids,” Dwyane said. “I sat down with my son … I told him I was building a brand. I’m building a Wade brand. I’m building it for you to take over. You won’t have to come into it new like the Balls’ are doing. I’ve already gone through 10 years of the bullcrap.” Much like the moves Wade has made his entire career, the foresight to begin building a family brand, at the age of 27, is truly revolutionary.

    Wade’s oldest son Zaire, who is now 15, dreams of being a professional basketball player himself one day. Dwyane continued, about his Wade brand, to jokingly say, “So I let him know, I will sign you to a shoe contract…if you’re good enough”.

  • Steph Curry Autographed Golden State Warriors Jersey JSA LOA

    After winning his second NBA title, the two time MVP Steph Curry's sports memorabilia is rising fast. Everything from his jerseys to his shoes is flying up at an all time high. And it's only going to continue to rise. Get your Steph Curry jersey today here at Ultimate Autographs.

    Price: $1,234.99
  • Warriors Unanimously Vote not to Visit the White House

    A few months ago, Golden State Warriors G Shaun Livingston stated that if the Warriors won the championship, he would not go to the White House. After winning their second championship in 3 years, it appears Livingston is not alone.

    According to sources, the new NBA Champs have unanimously voted to skip this years White House visit.

    The decision, if true, is not a surprising one. Steve Kerr, head coach of the Warriors was vocal of Donald Trump and his policies this season, and he was not alone. David West, Steph Curry and multiple NBA figures from players to coaches vocalized how they felt about the new President throughout this season.

    The source that stated the decision was made comes from this tweet sent by @RefromedBroker

    If the Warriors indeed skip the White House visit, they will join a few members of the NFL Champion New England Patriots who skipped their visit and share their sentiment.

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