Anyone doubting collectibles’ recent resurgence needed only to take one step onto the show floor of this month’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Organizers said the event was the second-most attended ever, behind only their 1991 show, which came during the last boom of sports card interest.
Now, IMG and Collectable believe there’s space for another marquee event on collectors’ calendars. Thursday, the two companies announced The MINT Collective, a three-day event to be held in January in Las Vegas that aims to appeal to both casual collectors and dedicated investors. “That’s the unique thing about sports collectibles,” Collectable CEO Ezra Levine said in an interview. “It’s a mix of passion and profits.”
The current plan, IMG VP of business operations for events Blake Ulrich said, is to have up to 1,000 attendees for the business-focused conference, while welcoming as many as 10,000 to a lively show floor. UFC president Dana White will speak at the event, as will Josh Luber, the StockX co-founder who will lead Fanatics’ ambitious foray into licensed trading cards. The event will take place at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and the UFC Apex. (The UFC, like IMG, is a subsidiary of Endeavor.)
Launched in 2020, Collectable has used fractional ownership models to recast collecting as a form of investment, onboarding 40,000 users so far. “The market is at a dramatic inflection point,” Levine said. “We really think that the level of activity, interest and capital infusion is the beginning of a multi-decade trend.”
Both Levine and Ulrich were clear that The MINT Collective show is not meant to compete with the longstanding NSCC, but rather offer an additional tentpole for collectors, adding that Mint leaders have already connected with NSCC organizers about potential collaborations. “There’s a clamoring of demand for additional events like this,” Levine said. “There’s plenty of room for more than one.”
Other companies, including ones that are competitive with Collectable, will be invited to help build the event. “We see this as being a self-standing business,” Ulrich said, pointing to similar gatherings that attract art or real estate aficionados as potential models.