One of the big stories of the past few weeks has been growing interest in the intersection of sports collectibles with blockchain technology, perhaps most exemplified by the growth of the NBA Top Shot highlights marketplace. That particular marketplace, which had generated more than $230 million in gross sales as of Sunday, lets consumers buy blockchain-tied non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that translate into unique digital collectibles of particular plays. And there’s talk about what that could mean for other sports, too. Amidst that, though, there’s also still plenty of interest in traditional sports cards, with a 1952 Mickey Mantle card selling for a record $5.2 million recently. And that would seem to make it a pretty good time for a sports media company to launch a content series focusing on both traditional and digital collectibles, which is what theScore is doing with a new “Mint Conditions” weekly series.
The series is planned to run weekly for approximately six months, and will air on theScore’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. Host Brad Parker will cover trading cards and collectibles from the worlds of sports and pop culture, including NFTs, and will provide insights into market trends. Parker will open packs, unbox cards, and answer viewer questions.
Parker, who has collected more than 10,000 cards across two decades, has previously done some TikTok videos for theScore showing off his card collection. so he definitely feels like a good fit for this. And while there have been some series looking at cards before, particularly Mike Oz’s “Old Baseball Cards,” it’s interesting to see a series from a sports media company specifically focused on the collectible side of the card hobby.
And it’s definitely notable to see this series going beyond traditional cards and covering the new area of NFTs, as well as other collectibles. theScore VP of marketing and content Aubrey Levy told AA via e-mail this fits with their larger content strategy of developing programming aimed at emerging trends in fandom, something they’ve found success with in esports and in other areas.
“The trading card and collectibles industry is having a major resurgence, capturing the interest of fans and leagues alike,” Levy said. “Our original digital programming aims to continually respond to where we see trends and fandom heading. Launching Mint Conditions encapsulates that content strategy, leveraging the powerful reach of our social channels and the endemic knowledge of our talent to deliver a fun, engaging and interactive new series.”
We’ll see how “Mint Conditions” works out for theScore, and what kind of an audience it draws. Coverage of both cards and digital collectibles is certainly an interesting topic, and if this series is a hit, we may see other media companies make their own entries into this arena.