Culture Trading Cards

Your Ultimate Guide to Selling and Investing in Sports and Trading Cards

This guide to investing and selling trading cards was written by Gary Vaynerchuk, Jason Koeppel, Raghav Haran, Tyler Schmitt, and Lou Geneux.

So… you’re thinking about investing in sports and trading cards. This guide will cover everything you need to know to get started – from figuring out what your old cards are worth to finding what new cards to buy, and more.

Also be sure to bookmark this post and listen to the Card Talk podcast for more tips and tricks on the go.

Why Invest in Sports Cards?

Sports card prices have spiked in recent years for a few reasons:

  • Kids who flipped sneakers are getting into the game. The big difference with sports cards is that people can get them in much higher volume than they can with sneakers – with sneakers you might only be able to get one pair online, but with sports cards, you can get as many as your budget allows.
  • Nostalgia is a huge driver. Men and women from the 80s who grew up with sports cards now have young kids and love seeing their kids get into the same hobbies they loved. You see toys like GI Joe “reboot” every 30 years or so for the same reason.
  • Buying sports card packs also ties into the rise of sports betting – buying a pack of cards and hoping you pull out a $50,000 card is similar to the excitement of betting on games. 

It all creates a perfect storm for cards to rise in value today. 

The other more fascinating element, especially for you as you’re reading this article, is the concept of trading cards being the current generation’s “art.” 

As attitudes and values shift, a lot of people are into displaying – say – a Michael Jordan rookie card in their house that they can show to their friends instead of a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s like how Justin Bieber showed off his insane Pokemon card collection hanging on his wall. 

Similarly, the scarcity and supply-and-demand elements of certain sports cards makes them an interesting long term investment that could increase in value – similar to something like fine art. 

Here’s how closely fine art has tracked the stock market over time: 

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And here’s how the trading card market compares to the stock market over a 10-year period (according to PWCC).

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Not to say that trading cards will always go up or that they’ll always beat the stock market—but it’s an interesting conversation to have, especially for those who can afford a small, fun, alternative investment. 

Being successful with sports card investing is all about education. Unfortunately, many people will get caught up in FOMO, gambling-like behavior, or buy in areas where they’re not educated – and that’s where they’ll lose over time. Education comes in the form of figuring out what sports to invest in, what players to buy, understanding the supply of the card you’re buying, and more. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the specifics of everything you need to know when it comes to trading cards, such as:

  • Setting goals
  • Different card buying strategies
  • Card values
  • Rookie cards
  • Types of cards to collect
  • What to know about card grading
  • The 4 most popular grading companies
  • Card value variables
  • Considering options outside of sports
  • Places to buy
  • How to sell
  • Research tools
  • Future of the hobby
  • Risks involved
Set your goals
1. Set a budget

Without a budget, it’s easy to spend a lot more than you’re comfortable with! Before you get started, make sure to set a budget for the amount that you’re willing to spend on cards. 

2. Decide your financial goals with the hobby

What are you looking to accomplish, financially? Are you just looking to collect, or are you looking for a return? 

Different financial goals might require different strategies. If you have some cash and you’re looking for a long term investment, you’ll have a different strategy than if you’re looking to make money in the next few months, for example.

Understand different card buying strategies
1. Long term investing

Cards that are long term investments require a different thought process and strategy than cards that are short term investments. 

If you’re looking for long term growth (and less risk), you should be thinking generationally. When you’re thinking generationally, you’re not focused on a player having a good game today or tomorrow, you’re focused on accumulating cards of generational icons like Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle and Tom Brady. You’ll be thinking more along the lines of what players will have the best legacies, as opposed to the short term implications of one game or even one season. 

These cards generally cost more, but also typically carry less risk.

2. Flipping

Flipping is for people who want to buy a card for a lower price today and flip it in a few days or weeks or months – or some would even consider a year short term – based on a player’s future performance or overall value.

If you’re going to flip and try to make short term money, you need to have a deep understanding of the game and the sport you’re trading in while also understanding the inherent risks. Don’t forget, at one point Derrick Rose was an MVP and the face of the NBA.  

For example, if you don’t really know basketball outside of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, you should not be thinking about flipping cards in the short term. If you do know the sport, you can start to think about which players’ cards are based on the current status of where they’re at. Which prospects could have an incredible game and surprise everyone? Which teams could go deep into the playoffs? Are there any incredible players right now that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve because they’re on a bad team? What if they get traded to a better team over the course of their career and get more awareness as a result of that? How fast can you move if something changes? 

We’ll cover some of these different variables later in this post, but those are just some of the things to be thinking about. If you don’t know a sport deeply enough to be able to form opinions or hypotheses about those questions, then you probably shouldn’t be flipping yet. GET EDUCATED FIRST!

3. Collecting

Let’s not forget that sports cards are a hobby! 

That means a number of people should be into this just for that purpose. If you want to collect cards of a certain player because you like that player, then that’s amazing. Just enjoying collecting makes investing and flipping more fun too, if you go down those routes.​​​

4. Sports betting & gambling

If you’re into sports betting, flipping sports cards could be another potentially lower-risk way of playing. If you’re betting on the New Orleans Pelicans winning a game, or Zion Williamson scoring more than X amount of points in a game, then sports cards might be a safer angle to go (since you won’t necessarily lose all your money if it doesn’t work out). Or if you’re betting on someone to win Rookie of the Year, buying their card and flipping it after they win would be another way to do it. 

If you can bet on a game, you can bet on a player as well in the same form or fashion by buying up their cards.

How to find the value of your cards

A lot of people are getting back into the hobby by first researching and figuring out the value of their old cards in their closet from when they were younger. If you have a card that you’re trying to find the value of, make sure you have the following info: 

Step 1. Find the year of the card. You can find this by checking the copyright date or the final year of the stats that are included. 

Step 2. Find the card company name.

Step 3. Find the player’s name. 

Step 4. Find the card number.

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For example, in the case of this Michael Jordan card: The date is 1986, the card company is Fleer, and the card number is 57/132 (this means that there were 132 cards in the set this card was in, this is the 57th card). 

Step 5: Head to eBay

You can enter all of those things into eBay, and scroll down and hit “sold items.” Make sure “completed items” is unchecked.

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From there, you can see all the sold listings for that card and get a feel for how much it’s going for. You’ll see a variety of listings – some cards will be “raw”, some will be “graded”, and others will be similar cards from different years or sets. 

You’ll learn all the terminology later in this guide, but this is a great starting point! 

After you go through your existing cards and see what you have, you can start the process of exploring new players that you’re interested in. You can explore new cards and get a feel for the market – starting with that player’s “rookie card.”

Figuring out what player’s card to buy: Starting with the rookie card

First, go to a site like eBay, and start by picking a player you like. Let’s say you like Ja Morant. Type in “Ja Morant rookie.”

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We’ll talk about this more later, but the most desirable version of a player’s card is typically their rookie card. The rookie card is the first version of their card to be printed. If you don’t know what set their rookie card is from, a good way of figuring it out is by typing in “[player name] rookie” and seeing what comes up. 

Once you type it in and press enter, look at what graded cards come up. Graded cards are cards that are enclosed in a case like this one and given a rating from 1-10 (which reflects the card’s condition) by a grading company.

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Here’s some context on what the different words on the case mean:

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In Ja Morant’s case, a good chunk of the graded card listings were 2019 Panini Prizm – which indicates that that’s his main rookie card. “Panini Prizm” or “Topps Chrome” will typically be the main rookie card sets for some of the more recent players. Panini acquired the exclusive NBA license for trading cards in the 2009 – 2010 season. 

For LeBron James, his rookie card is the 2003 Topps Chrome. For Giannis Antetokounpo, his rookie card is from the 2013 Panini Prizm Basketball set. 

From there, we can start searching for recent prices and sold listings. Type in “2019 Panini Prizm Ja Morant PSA” into eBay, and click on the “sold” listings on the left-hand side filter:

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That search term will give you a list of all rookie cards that have been graded by PSA (which usually hold the most value).  

You can scroll through and start to get a sense for what the prices are, and what you can expect to pay. The rookie card is usually the most desirable and will usually be the first card to go up in value in correlation with the performance & future outlook on the player, if that fits within your budget. The general rule of thumb is to take the average of the last five sales, and consider that as a fair price to pay. One thing to note, is that when selling on ebay or stockX, there is a ~13% fee for the seller. This means when purchasing from a human off platform, prices could be anywhere from 10-15% less than comparison on an online marketplace. 

From there, you can consider the other variables that play into whether the card is a good short or long term investment – things like what team the player is on, the grade of the card, the population report, the cultural awareness around the player, the artwork on the card, and more. 

In the rest of this post, we’ll cover the different aspects of card collecting, and the different variables that can affect a card’s value.

Types of Sports Cards you can collect
1. Rookie cards

A player’s rookie card holds more value than their other cards, historically. The reason is because it can’t be manipulated – even as new product is released, the rookie card remains the rookie card. People in the hobby typically want to get the first card that was ever printed of that player, which happens to be the rookie card. 

At the time of writing this article, the LeBron James Topps Chrome rookie card is selling for around $8000-10,000 in PSA 10 (we’ll talk more about PSA grading later in this post).

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LeBron’s 2006-2007 Topps Chrome card on the other hand, is selling for around $400-500. It’s not the rookie card, so it’s not as highly desired. But keep in mind that LeBron is one of the greatest therefore you see other cards going up. 

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That being said, as the rookie card of a player gets too pricey, people begin to collect other cards of that player, such as second-year cards or first-year cards with a specific team. For example, LeBron’s first Prizm card sells for about $500 now. 

2. Inserts

Card companies put inserts into packs to spread out the regular cards. Inserts are typically more artistic, or hold a different kind of design from the rest of the cards in the set. For example, Panini did a fun design with Zion as a superhero for one of their inserts.

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Inserts have started to hold more value over time as of late. As people start to look for different ways to invest in cards, there are lower populations of inserts. 

Zion’s 2019 Panini Prizm rookie card has 20,949 PSA 10s right now – an insert of his would definitely be printed less, which means that the inserts might be more valuable depending on what it is and what it signifies.

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You can find inserts on eBay by searching something like “Dwyane Wade PSA” and looking for cards that seem a little “off the beaten path.” From there, enter the set that card is from into the “PSA Pop Report” tab to find the supply of the card. 

Check out the “population report” section below for more on this.

3. Complete sets

Hardcore collectors love the “chase” of trying to assemble complete sets – they love the challenge of trying to get every card in – say – the 2019 Panini Prizm Basketball set.

It can be fun as a hobby, but a full set doesn’t necessarily sell for more than individual cards by themselves.

4. Boxes

There are different types of card boxes you can find. There are retail boxes that you can find in stores like Target. There are also what’s called “hobby boxes” and “jumbo hobby boxes” – those are the ones that have autographed cards in them, guaranteed. 

You can approach this in a couple of ways: 

For one, you could buy the boxes, keep them sealed, and hold onto them as they rise in value. Sealed boxes typically hold the most value because you don’t know what’s inside – it gives people a “thrill of the hunt” and a sense of excitement as they buy the box and open up. The value of sealed boxes really depends on the type of boxes you’re buying – like this 1986 Fleer Basketball Box for example sells for a ton of money because people could potentially pull a Michael Jordan rookie card out of it (among others).

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You could also just open up the packs for fun as soon as you buy them from the store, in hopes that there’s a valuable card inside. This ties in a bit more to the gambling or sports betting aspects, but it can be a ton of fun, especially if you really enjoy collecting.

5. Unopened packs

Boxes are made up of a number of individual card packs, which can be sold by themselves too. 

Packs can also go for a lot of money, depending on the set they’re from.

6. Autographs

Autographed cards are printed less than regular cards because the card company has to pay to get player autographs – and the more popular the player is, the more expensive the autograph is. 

The supply of autographed cards are typically a small fraction of the total number of rookie cards a player has.

7. Jersey patch cards

There are some cards that come out with a patch of a player’s jersey on it. 

Just because a card is a patch card doesn’t necessarily make it the most valuable thing – the most valuable patch cards are typically game-used jerseys (as opposed to event-used jerseys). The game-used jersey patches are usually reserved for premium products, like Panini National Treasures basketball sets.

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To find jersey patch cards, you can search things like “[player name] patch”, “[player name] RPA” (which means rookie patch auto), or “[player name] rpa psa” (which will give you graded cards). Rookie patch auto cards are autographed cards with a jersey patch from the player’s rookie season. 

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From there, you can take into account all the other variables – things like population reports (more details below), your general intuition about the player, recent sale prices, amount of recent sales, and more.

8. Error cards

Error cards are cards that have some kind of misprint on them, which can be valuable. They don’t happen as much anymore because there’s usually much more quality control these days when it comes to that, but with vintage sets, you can find some error cards with wrong names or images. 

They’re definitely flippable, but it doesn’t happen as often with newer stuff.

What to know about sports card grading

Grading companies evaluate the condition of the card and assign a grade from 1-10 based on that condition – with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest). Below are the four major grading companies. For more detailed information on grading, check out this article.

The Grading Companies
1. PSA
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PSA is currently the top grading company in the hobby. PSA was recently purchased for $700 million dollars by a group of investors including entrepreneur and collector Nat Turner and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen.

Outside of the BGS Black Label 10 (more on that below), PSA 10s will almost always increase the value of your card more than any other grading company. Their recognizable red and white labels are simply the slabs that the industry wants, and after working their way through an astronomical backlog of cards, they seem to be back to churning out huge numbers monthly.

2. BGS (Beckett)

BGS (Beckett Grading Services) is probably the next biggest, but they grade on a bit of a different scale than PSA. A BGS 9.5 is considered Gem Mint by their standards, as they include “sub-grades”, which are grades for each aspect of the grading process.

BGS black labels cards that earn a 10/10 on centering, edges, corners, and surface quality are the toughest grade to achieve, but if you do end up with one it will very likely command a hefty premium over a PSA 10.

3. SGC

SGC has really come on strong in the hobby over the last two years, with relatively inexpensive pricing (about $25/card) and fast turnaround (less than a month) at their basic level.

Their “tuxedo slabs” are unique in comparison to the other grading companies as they have a black background inserted which really make the colors of the cards pop.

4. CSG

CSG is an interesting company to look out for. Their slabs are crystal clear and they recently updated their labels after facing some backlash over the look of their previous clunky green ones. They are relatively new to card grading, but are the biggest names in the comic book and coin grading space.

One of the biggest reasons for optimism with CSG is the fact that Michael Rubin, the founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, is an investor in the company.

Which grading company should I use?
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Newer companies such as HGA and ISA offer their own approach to sports and trading card grading, but sticking with one of the top four will likely return you the most value.

If you’re a newer investor or collector getting into graded cards, start with PSA for your more valuable cards (worth $1000 or more), then look into BGS. For cards that are under $1000, SGC is certainly a very attractive option. 

The “premier” grading company might be something that changes over time. A different brand might be “number 1”, meaning their graded cards might be more desired in the future compared to a PSA graded card. 

That’s something to think about especially if you’re really in this for the long haul. But for now, graded cards are the absolute currency of the industry on the premium end.

Variables that can affect a card’s value
1. Modern vs vintage

Cards of current players like Luka Doncic or Patrick Mahomes could go up and down based on injuries, how well they play, and a number of other factors.  

On the other hand, the argument for buying modern cards is that new people entering the hobby are more excited about – say – Giannis than they are about someone like Julius Erving. There could also be more opportunity for short term gains with modern cards, since a lot of the recent excitement around the hobby is based around current players.

Some people feel that vintage cards are a better investment compared to modern cards because there are less variables. Meaning, players like Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have been cemented as icons of basketball, so their price might not fluctuate as much in the day-to-day. The supply of those cards also won’t rise as demand goes up, so some people view them as a safer investment. 

2. Supply of the card (Population reports)

The number of cards in circulation can affect the value in a big way. Supply & Demand is a tried and true principle and is at the core of this hobby!

You can check population reports for PSA-graded cards on their website

Just enter the set your card is in… 

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And you can find the population of all cards within that set. For example, Ja Morant’s main card within that set currently has 20,047 PSA 10’s in circulation. 

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Zion Williamson’s 2019 Prizm PSA 10 also has a population over 20,000.

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You can also search by player name, and get a list of all the cards they have in circulation, along with the population numbers of those cards. 

Just because a card is lower in supply doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more valuable. There are a lot of other factors to consider too – like the overall awareness around that player, the team they’re on, future potential, and more. Ask yourself, is the card low in supply because it’s truly rare? Or because it’s irrelevant and so no one’s sent it in for grading? 

Population reports are one important tool you can use to compare cards and find the rarest cards of a player you like.

3. Buying raw vs graded

You can buy cards that are graded by companies like PSA or Beckett, or you can buy cards “raw.” Meaning, cards that haven’t been submitted to a grading company. 

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The barrier to entry is often lower for raw cards because of the lower price. Since they haven’t been officially graded for quality, they don’t carry as much of a premium. 

Raw cards are generally better for beginners who are just getting into the hobby because they allow more room for mistakes and for learning. You could spend $100 and get – say – seven raw cards, or spend $100 and get maybe one PSA-graded card. There’s more room for error with the seven. 

Early on, it can be safer to start with raw cards, then move into graded cards as you learn the nuances.

4. Surface, corners, edges, creases, and centering

When a grading company grades cards, they pay attention to the surface, corners, edges, creases, and centering of the card. 

Does the surface have any scratches? Are the corners and edges frayed? Does the card have any creases? How well is the player centered on the card?  

Grading is a subjective process with a human element to it. People at these companies will grade cards based on the condition, and these are some of the things they look for. 

Assessing a card’s condition is a deep skill that takes time to develop, but if you’re buying raw cards and sending them into a grading company to get them graded, or digging cards out of your closet to get them graded, these are some of the factors you can look at.  

5. The card company

There are different companies that create cards – you’ll hear of these names as you get into the hobby. 

Panini is the company that predominantly is known for basketball and football cards, the reason being that they currently hold the licenses with the professional leagues to distribute player cards with team logos. 

Topps currently holds the licenses for baseball cards. The MLB player’s association has a deal with Panini which allows Panini to print baseball cards with player names (but not team logos), but Topps has the full deal where they’re able to print both player names and team logos. For that reason, Topps baseball cards hold more value. 

Upper deck holds licenses for hockey.

Recently, Fanatics purchased the licenses for the NBA, NBAPA, MLB, MLBPA and NFLPA, as well as the Topps brand in a major shift in the collectibles market. This consolidation means that Fanatics will also produce Formula 1, MLS, UEFA, and Bundesliga cards in the near future, as well as WWE.

6. Cultural relevance of the athlete

Cultural relevance plays an important role in overall demand because it shows how much awareness people have about the player. 

For example, with all the things that LeBron James does off the court, what does that mean for his cards? Which players – like Shaq, Dwyane Wade, or Charles Barkley – will stay culturally relevant even after they retire? 

The player’s life off the field or off the court could potentially also play a role in whether they make a good long term investment – even after they leave the game.

7. Player performance in a game

Player performance can play a role in the short term fluctuations of their card’s value. This is more relevant for flippers than long term investors, but the dynamics are similar to sports betting. If a player has an incredible game or series of games, their card price will probably go up.​​​​​

8. Your negotiation tactics

Negotiation is part of the hobby! 

It’s something people do a lot at card shows, but also something you can do on sites like eBay when you’re buying. 

You can look for listings that “accept offers”, and message the buyer with a price you think is reasonable based off of recent sales.

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Because information on recent sales is so readily available, there’s typically not a ton of flexibility on recent prices. The wiggle room comes when you buy from a particular seller more than once – if you’re a repeat buyer or you buy multiple cards from one person, you can ask for lower prices. Also, put yourself into the seller’s shoes, why not list at a higher price point than the market at the chance lazy buyers are perusing the market and willing to pay over market value in exchange for the time saved from doing the research? If there is an option to make a “best offer” or “OBO”, do so! But don’t be upset if while you’re waiting for a response, someone comes along and buys at full price.

9. Retirements and Hall of fame potential

Getting into the Hall of Fame is one variable that can really spike a card’s value. For example, Vince Carter’s rookie card saw a lot of demand as he became eligible for the Hall of Fame.   

10. The player’s team: Major markets

The team the player’s on matters. Major markets overall tend to hold more value than smaller markets. When a player wins with the Yankees, Lakers, or Celtics, it can hold more weight. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t excel as an individual athlete – for example, the Anaheim Angels aren’t necessarily the hottest team, but Mike Trout is “the guy” in baseball. It’s just something to take into consideration.

11. The player’s team: Smaller markets

Small market teams can hold less weight than larger markets, but like it was mentioned before, just because a player isn’t on the Celtics or Lakers or Yankees doesn’t mean their card isn’t valuable. 

For example, Zion Williamson is in New Orleans, but if he ever gets traded to a major market team, that might spike the price of his card. That’s one way to use this data.

12. Player career path and potential

One of the most fun parts about the hobby is seeing whether you’re “right” about a player or not. 

When you’re buying modern cards – especially new rookies – evaluating a player’s talent is a huge variable. Who’s going to be a huge talent? Who’s already a talent, but hasn’t gotten the chance to really shine? Who’s talented, but on a small market team? What if they get traded somewhere else? 

This goes back to deeply knowing the sport you’re trading in – if you can’t answer those questions, then you probably won’t be able to make educated decisions on current players.

13. The player’s league

The league the player plays in makes a difference too. 

Basketball is a major sport and also has a fanbase in countries like China and around the world. That can influence the demand for basketball cards. 

Football is extremely popular in America and has a loyal fanbase. The stats show that 75 of the top 100 TV broadcasts in 2021 were football. It’s the biggest sport in America and will have an audience. 

Baseball is the oldest sport out of the group and was the sport that truly popularized sports cards. They’re the foundation of the hobby. 

Hockey isn’t as massive in terms of popularity, but the NHL fanbase is extremely loyal and excited about the sport which could sustain demand. Same with baseball, wrestling, and the UFC. 

Soccer has a huge international audience. And with the explosion of the Premier League and the TV rights deal they’ve done with NBC, and the fact that the schedule over the next two years will be jam packed due to COVID-19 match delays, there could be a lot more awareness around it. International soccer which always dominates TV. Also, the 2026 World Cup will be played in the United States, and that could make a difference in the overall awareness around the sport.

14. Nostalgic elements

Nostalgia’s a powerful driver of human behavior and is something that carries weight in the world of collectibles. 

This is especially true for areas like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards that hold a lot of sentimental value for people – people often want to collect the cards that they played with as kids. It’s true for sports cards too, and a big argument as to why vintage players hold a lot of value. 

Older people might have grown up watching Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing. Those players hold a place in a lot of people’s childhoods, which can make them more collectible and influence their card’s value. 

Consider your options outside of sports

With sports cards rising so much in value, there’s been a lot of awareness brought to the world of trading cards and collectibles as a whole. Things like Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and more have been really rising in value in a big way over the past 1-2 years. 

Check out this blog post from PSA on the collectability of Pokemon – sets of some of the most valuable cards have been appraised at $300,000+, including this specific Charizard card which recently sold by itself for $420,000.

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There are plenty of options outside of sports if you’re more passionate about another trading card game you played as a kid!

The Best Channels to Buy Sports Cards
1. eBay

eBay is the most well-known place to buy and sell cards. It can also be a quick tool you can use to see what a card is selling for. 

2. Facebook groups and Instagram

There are a number of sellers who post their cards on Facebook groups or directly on Instagram for sale. It’s another place to find deals, and an opportunity to build a closer relationship with a seller (or buyer) who you can go back to over and over again. As those relationships are formed, it’s easier to get deals.

3. COMC is another place you can buy trading cards. It’s built more for collectors who are trying to collect full sets. 

4. Card shows

Card shows still happen across the country, the biggest one being the National Sports Collectors Convention. It’s an opportunity to have a ton of fun, potentially relive some childhood memories, and buy direct from sellers at their booths. 

5. Whatnot

Whatnot is a community marketplace where and shop owners and “breakers” can go live and collectors can buy single cards or participate in a box break.

It has gained massive popularity in the hobby of late, making the selling and shopping process much more seamless than Instagram and Facebook live.

The Future of Sports Cards

As demand for cards increases, the natural reaction of card companies will be to increase the amount of supply in future sets. It’s part of what caused the junk wax era – as card companies tripled the amount of printing, supply outpaced demand and the cards from that era just weren’t as valuable. 

It makes sense – card companies like Panini and Topps are trying to get more sales. If there’s more demand, they’ll increase production to match it. 

The only way to combat that is being smart about how you’re buying cards. Like we mentioned earlier, you can check PSA population reports to see how many of a certain card are in circulation and think about whether the market demand outpaces the supply. 

Markets go up, and markets go down. 

There’s a good argument to be made that certain sports cards and Pokemon cards will continue to rise in value over the long term (especially the icons), but like with everything, it’s important to recognize that there are macroeconomic factors that can affect the card market. 

Collectibles aren’t a “top need” for most, so in recessions, liquidity could dry up and we could see a decline in card value. That’s why it’s so important to set a budget – define how much you’re comfortable spending and treat it like any other investment (i.e. don’t overexpose yourself and diversify).


One risk of sports card investing is that athletes get hurt. 

For example, if you were obsessed with Derrick Rose and put a ton of money into his rookie cards at the height of his career, that wouldn’t have been a good outcome given what happened to him with injuries.

There are some sports where athletes might be more at risk than others (like football) but there’s not really any sure way to predict this. It’s one of the risks that come with the territory.    

Just like there’s fake art, there are fake cards, too. 

You can educate yourself on how to tell whether a card is real or fake, and also lean more towards buying graded cards over time. Taking into account the seller’s reviews and feedback can also help. 

“Shilling” is when sellers put in a fake, massively high bid on a card just so they can sell it at a higher price. If a card has a few sales where it “sold” for a much higher price than what you think it’s worth, it could be manipulation. Don’t forget, trading cards, just like sneakersm fine art, modern art, or any other collectible is an unregulated market and there is bound to be manipulation. 

If you’re not transacting through a reputed website or trading card marketplace, PayPal goods and services can be a reliable way to send money to sellers or collect money from buyers. 

It offers protection to both buyers and sellers to make sure that the transaction gets carried out properly. You can use this if you’re buying cards through places like Instagram or Facebook groups. 

If you think about buying cards as a business, the same rules apply as any other investment! 

By diversifying you can make sure that you’re not overexposed to any sport or player. Consider collecting different sets, different players, different leagues (if you really know multiple sports), different rookie cards, different grading card companies, etc based on where you think the risks are in your portfolio.

Research tools

Hope you found this guide helpful as you’re getting started – happy trading, and hit us up @ONE37pm on Twitter!!

Culture News

Sad_Papi: From Fine Dining to a 2 Million TikTok Follower Fanbase

Tik Tok chef sensation @Sad_Papi (aka Brandon Skier), has experienced an incredible rise since jumping over to the TikTok scene two years ago. As you may know, Brandon has +10 years of restaurant experience in Michelin star fine dining. His last kitchen experience was Auburn (pre-pandemic), and his journey to TikTok began as a creative outlet to refuel his passion for cooking. His Sad Papi handle has now amassed close to 2M “papitas” and has grown into platforms where he shares educational food content and recipes while also giving insider tips from his days in a traditional kitchen.

Skier’s direct and honest approach in the kitchen has inspired premium condiment brand, Sir Kensington’s to collaborate with him this month on a delicious Vegan Mayo-inspired “Shattered Potatoes with Vegan Green Chili Aioli” dish. It is all about taking something simple, like potatoes, and showcasing ways to level up with high-quality ingredients and bold sauces. 

We spoke with Brandon last week to talk about the partnership, and discuss his meteoric success.

ONE37pm: Great to be talking with you! Your career spans 10 plus years, and you’ve been able to parlay that success onto social media. Could you just talk a bit about your journey?

Brandon: I had been working in restaurants for over 10 years. We couldn’t keep up with the pandemic, and restaurants weren’t hiring. Nobody knew the direction the restaurant business was going, and that’s when I discovered TikTok. I was encouraged to start posting my chef videos there. I didn’t know that you can make a living doing this!

ONE37pm: You were able to transition your career through the course of this pandemic where you began to use TikTok as a creative outlet for your cooking. How was that revamp?

Brandon: I feel like through the course of this pandemic people have obviously been on their phones a lot more, and TikTok is a great platform for people who are skilled. When I first started I didn’t know how to do anything on it. I learned how to edit and film, and it paid off. 

ONE37pm: You have a pretty cool collaboration with Sir Kensington’s to kick off the new year which is a delicious recipe using their mayo products. How did that come to be?

Brandon: This was a great opportunity for content creators who are vegan and sharing plant based recipes. We took something simple—a chilli dish with potatoes, and we just crafted this really fun idea.

ONE37pm: What else do you have planned for 2022?

Brandon: I’m working on a lot of stuff. We are writing tons of recipes for a book, we’ve got a website in the making, and I’m just making sure I stay busy.

You can keep up with Brandon via TikTok.

Culture News

Sean Wotherspoon Is Bringing “Late Lunch” To NTWRK

Style legend and world-renowned designer Sean Wotherspoon is adding yet another accomplishment to his incredibly impressive resume. The icon has teamed up with premier livestream shopping platform NTWRK to launch Late Lunch, a 3-in-1 merchandise collection, shoppable show and charity partnership bringing his many years of expertise to life in a different way.

Wotherspoon is the designer of theNike Air Max 1/97, the winning design of Air Max Day 2018, which was originally redesigned by combining an Air Max 97 upper with an Air Max 1 outsole and midsole, with the multicolor, corduroy upper inspired by vintage Nike hats, co-founder of the vintage boutique store Round Two in partnership with Chris Russow, and host of the autobiographical “Round Two The Show” YouTube web series which has amassed over 300,000 active channel subscribers.

Sean Wotherspoon

Wotherspoon has also designed for big named brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Disney, and recently partnered with Vespa Primavera for the 150 Sean Wotherspoon scooter.

Late Lunchis a new lifestyle brand, original series and social initiative that lives exclusively on the NTWRK app, and will be accompanied by a monthly episode which will feature candid conversations between Wotherspoon and iconic figures from the fashion, hip hop and sneaker industries as well as a collection of exclusive merchandise from his lifestyle brand—also named Late Lunch. 

We spoke with Wotherspoon about his partnership with NTWRK, and what to expect in the future.

ONE37pm: Congrats on the NTWRK partnership. How did this come to be?

Wotherspoon: I’ve been really impressed with all of the things NTWRK has been doing, and I’ve been friends with CEO Aaron Levant for a long time. Watching them grow has been inspiring, and they are such a great team. I’m really excited about this partnership. We are starting brand new with a concept called Late Lunch, which is something that I have actually been working on for the past four or five years. It was previously a side project and now with NTWRK I’m hoping it will grow into a dream brand.

ONE37pm: How did you develop the concept of Late Lunch?

Wotherspoon: The idea of Late Lunch happened when I was working at Round Two which I absolutely loved. So many people and celebrities were coming by the store, and I would be so busy that I wouldn’t be able to eat lunch until late. It kind of turned into a thing, and I thought it was cool because late lunch is sort of like a lifestyle for people who are always on the grind because eating is an afterthought. I started branding Late Lunch and putting it on things, and it just grew from there.


ONE37pm: How has Late Lunch evolved into what you are doing now with NTWRK?

Wotherspoon: Again it’s been a dream, and we actually just started teasing our next item which is going to be an alarm clock. We’ve really wanted to start stepping into the home goods realm which is very exciting. This has been such a fun and lucky experience because this doesn’t feel like a job at all. It’s actually like a vacation! We’re also spreading plant-based knowledge, and we’re going to be donating vegan meals to schools and communities.

We’ve already donated a few hundred meals which we are proud of. Aside from that, Late Lunch is also going to be a show, and we actually just did an interview with Ben Baller! There’s going to be more of that going forward as we are going to be diving more into original series.

We’re also going to be doing cross country trips that focus on world travel and interviewing different designers and people in streetwear. It’s going to be sick as we expand the brand!

ONE37pm: Do plan on integrating sneakers into Late Lunch? Or will you keep it separate?

Wotherspoon: I would like to keep Late Lunch separate from sneakers. I really want for it to be everything else except sneakers, like those weird tape dispensers from 1964. I do so much with sneakers already, so I would like to keep the two separate for sure.

ONE37pm: Where do you see Late Lunch five years from now?

Wotherspoon: I see Late Lunch donating $100 million to charities, becoming one of your favorite talk shows, and our home goods line expanding!

Be sure to keep up with Sean, NTWRK, and Late Lunch on Instagram, and follow their updates via the official Late Lunch website.


Named one of Fast Company’s “Brands That Matter” and “Most Innovative Companies” as well as Ad Age’s “Hottest Brands,” NTWRK is the premier North American livestream shopping platform where “entertainment meets e-commerce” (Forbes). Built on a digitally-innovative model of daily product drops, livestream shopping festivals, and exclusive partnerships with world-renowned brands and creators, NTWRK has fostered an organic global community of artists and fans since its launch in 2018. Under the motto “Shop, Watch, Connect” NTWRK provides a curated digital shopping experience that resonates with Gen-Z and millennial consumers.

For more information on NTWRK or Late Lunch, please contact  

Gaming New Releases

The Wildly Popular Mobile Premier League Makes Its Way To The U.S.

If you haven’t already heard of Mobile Premier League, then you better believe you will soon. MPL is a unique but wildly popular segment of the growing gaming community, casual gaming, that has rapidly exploded in the US over the past few months, providing a way for both casual and avid gamers to play all of their favorite games (I.E. pool, bowling, solitaire, baseball, etc) all in one place, while also giving gamers a chance to play with their friends for money or a side hustle.

Mobile Premier League

Originally developed in India, MPL has quickly become Asia’s biggest mobile gaming platform, and has now launched in the U.S. At the time of this writing, MPL currently boasts more than 85 million casual gamers, and was recently valued at $2.3 billion. The game is a unique way for people to kill time, earn money, and play games with old friends while meeting new ones. We spoke with MPL CEO Sai Srinivas about the development process behind the game, and how they plan to take gaming to new heights.

ONE37pm: Congratulations on the success of MPL! What was the development of the game like?

Srinivas: The development of MPL goes all the way back to my days as a game designer and product manager. I’ve always believed that if someone is good at something, then they should be able to use that passion as a way to make money. I used to play 8 Ball Pool and thought about how it would be if people could play their favorite games, essentially compete in tournaments through a World Cup, and figure out who’s the best. When I started MPL in 2018, I didn’t see anybody else doing this concept. I developed the game in India, and we’ve since expanded to Asia and the United States. Everybody loves to compete, and MPL was the right place and right time for us, especially in India. 

ONE37pm: Did you encounter any obstacles while in the early stages of MPL?

Srinivas: As a game designer, my first obstacle was creating a game that developers could use. We’re still in the early days in that regard, but we’ve made a lot of progress with developers over the past year-and-a-half. The goal is to have even more international developers and players in Europe, U.S., India, and Asia.

ONE37pm: How did you select the games for MPL?

Srinivas: It was important for me to choose games that people like to play, which are mostly evergreen such as cricket in India, baseball in Europe, etc. Our focus is on those games and trying to bring them onto our platform.

ONE37pm: We have a lot of aspiring game designers that will be reading this article. What’s your advice to them?

Srinivas: The game has to be fun to play. That is the most important element, and it’s not going to work if it’s not fun. You can’t put the metrics and revenue before the actual gameplay because people decide whether or not they like the game in the first five to ten minutes. You have to focus on those first five/ten minutes and make the game enjoyable before you put your attention on the potential metrics and value.

ONE37pm: Where do you see MPL in the next five years?

Srinivas: Ideally MPL will be a place that game publishers can use to publish their games, and from there players will automatically be able to host a World Cup. I think this is the future of digital sports. If we could host tournaments around the world that would be great!

Gaming New Releases

NBA 2K Mobile Season 4 Brings Authentic NBA Action On-The-Go

Last week, NBA 2K announced Season 4 of NBA® 2K Mobile, one of 2K’s flagship mobile titles with more than 28.5 million downloads to date. Now Season 4 is back and bringing a new Courtside Pass to unlock exclusive rewards, updated player likenesses and jerseys, card stats to reflect the upcoming NBA season, and so much more.

NBA 2K22 Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is the face of season 4, and there’s a lot for 2K fans to look forward to. Players can build their NBA all-star teams, advance their basketball careers, and slam dunk on console-quality graphics – all on the go.

On top of more new ways to jump into the action, including:

  • Updated 2021-22 rosters and teams. Players can explore hundreds of new NBA Basketball Cards from current NBA players and icons, such as Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, and Luka Doncic, to all-time NBA All-Stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal, and Vince Carter;
  • ‘The Stat Line’ that offers rewards for taking specific action in-game. Additional player modes include 3-on-3, 5-on-5, real-time NBA PvP multiplayer matchups, MyPLAYER customization, and more;
  • A new limited-timed event, Power Cap, will kick off in October and let players show off their front-office skills by strategically selecting cards across five different leagues to top the leaderboard and earn Event Points, Milestone Awards, and much more. 
  • And coming soon, the Courtside Pass provides a front-row seat to the best basketball plays and lets players collect premium rewards throughout the new NBA season;
NBA 2K Zion Williamson

To play, download the free NBA 2K Mobile app for Apple devices with 4+ GB of RAM and iOS 11.0 or later or on Google devices with Android 8+ (Android 9.0 recommended). An Internet connection is required. NBA 2K Mobile’s live 2K action requires newer hardware. App includes optional in-game purchases.

Follow NBA 2K Mobile on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest info and updates.

Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Taking It Back To 2007

What in the world is going on in the land of TikTok this week? We’re not sure if we’ll ever be able to predict the direction trends and challenges will go, but we can give you an update on what is happening in the present time. When we first started doing these roundups in January, the majority of what we were seeing on the platform were dance and transformation challenges. In the seven month since, TikTok has evolved immensely and the trends for this week are a reflection of just how interactive and creative the app can be. As we start to turn the corner into the fall and winter seasons, these challenges are slowly transitioning from outdoors to indoors. Here is some of the action taking place on the app in case you want to participate.

1. “Like I Can”- Sam Smith

Taking it all the way back to 2014, TikTokers are bringing back Smith’s single “Like I Can” from his album In The Lonely Hour.  Sam Smith is an artist full of depth, and creates songs that can bring back the memories and last a lifetime. The only requirement of this challenge is to share moments with your loved ones. So you could show off family photos, do a duet with relatives, or just simply record yourself singing along. It’s up to you!

2. “Life Is Strife”- Jreg

Life can indeed be strife. For this challenge, creators are making unique videos using on-screen text to highlight something disturbing. You have the power of imagination with this one, and it really depends on what you personally find to be “disturbing.” One TikTok user made a video in clown makeup (some people actually find clowns to be disturbing), while another made a video listing all of their mother’s nagging traits (if you guys listen to your mom the first time around she wouldn’t have to “nag,” but we digress). Again this can be freestyle so it’s up to you.

3. “Like A Boy” – Ciara

Boy this is a throwback! You had to have been around in 2007 to know just how huge this song was (it’s one of Ciara’s biggest hits and one of her most successful music videos), but if you weren’t, then this TikTok challenge is the next best thing. Apparently there are two trends associated with this song: Creators imagining what things would be like if they “acted like a boy,” and text message arguments with a partner that end in a fake image as the punchline. Most are going with the former as a tribute to the video where Ciara reenacts relationship scenarios as a man. Pretty cool if you ask us.

Culture News

Photo-Cropping Trends Dominate This Week In TikTok

This past week in TikTok was full of the usual fun-filled activities that we are used to seeing from the app. The beauty of TikTok is that it’s always changing, and whereas the platform was previously known as a “dance app,” we’ve since seen TikTok transition into a place where you can literally find anything and everything your heart desires. This week, there was a heavy emphasis on a newer “photo-cropping” trend that’s been taking over the TikTok “airwaves”, and oddly enough, little to no dancing. Let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on in the TikTok community so that way you too can get in on the action.

1. “The Hustle” Van McCoy

The word of the week is photo-cropping. It’s here, it’s present, and making its presence known on TikTok. This challenge is one of many powering this new photo-cropping trend as TikTokers are using the new creative effect to Van McCoy’s 1975 hit “The Hustle.” You already know TikTok loves the 1970s era from the hair trend that dominated early this year, so any challenge pulling from that is already a heavy hitter.

2. “Double Take” Dhruv

We told you this new craze was going to be here to stay. Yet another trend leaning on the photo-cropping feature, this particular challenge features TikTokers pulling from Dhruv’s 2019 single “Double Take.” The song itself is a perfect fit for crops and transitions, and you better believe TikTok has been taking advantage of that to the fullest.

3. “Industry Baby” Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow

It’s Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow. Does anything else need to be said? I’m terms of young entertainers who have an incredible amount of influence, these two are up there when it comes to impact and popularity, and they recently joined forces on their song (and viral music video) “Industry Baby” which had social media buzzing. That’s certainly no surprise right?

4. “She Knows” J.Cole

This song is heavily associated with a new trend where creators use an on-screen text/caption to share a lie or tell a falsehood, while singing part of the chorus where Cole says, “she knows, she knows, she knows.” It’s basically a play on words combined with a tad bit of drama. So get ready to bust out those acting chops because you are going to need them for this one.

That’s all folks! Catch you next time with the next TikTok roundup.

NFT Sports

WAX Partners with Christina Jansen For A New Muhammad Ali NFT Collection

We have some exciting news coming out of the NFT world today. WAX is partnering with world-renowned photographer Christina Jansen and Dublin-based NFT agency, to bring to life the Muhammad Ali Series 1 digital collection, a 136 unique digital collection that will highlight Muhammad Ali. The collection will be available on WAX blockchain starting on August 10, 2021, at 1 pm EST /10 am PST and will showcase some of Ali’s personal and storied moments through his incredible life and 21-year professional career. 

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

As you all know, Ali had a brilliant career and established himself as one of the best professional athletes of all time. Throughout his iconic 21-year professional career, Ali was unconventional and incredible for the world to watch. He was an Olympic gold medalist, accumulated 56 victories, and was the first boxer in history to claim the heavyweight championship belt three times. During this time, Ali first connected with Jansen in 1986, meeting at a commercial shoot at Fulham Studios. The two formed an instant bond with Ali, recognizing each other’s respective talents and Jansen admiring Ali’s humble nature. Since her encounter with Ali, Jansen has photographed celebrities, athletes, and fashion icons.

“Photographing Muhammad Ali was one of the most inspiring jobs I have ever had . Over a period of two weeks on and off the set I witnessed how he treated everyone who approached him the same. It didn’t matter to Ali where you came from or what you did . I felt so blessed to have the chance to talk to him and get to know this great man like a close friend.  Ali told me his Philosophy in life “ If you reach for the moon you might end up next door, but if you reach for the stars you will get to the moon’. He encouraged me and others to reach for their goals and not be afraid to take risks in life.”

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

Since his passing in 2016, Ali’s life and love for mentoring others will be revealed through Jansen’s intimate, never-before-seen photographs for fans to collect and enjoy as digital collectibles on the WAX Blockchain. In her very first WAX collection, Jansen will offer the proceeds of an extremely special “Boxing Futures” pack featuring a single, ultra-rare Muhammad Ali digital photograph to aid Boxing Futures, an organization that aims to help disadvantaged youth by providing a safe space for them to improve their physical and mental health through boxing all while learning to build relationships and find motivation.

Christina Jansen

Muhammad Ali had a gentleness outside the ring. He connected with everyone, especially children. He had a generous heart and a  great sense of humor and was constantly telling jokes.

Here are some additional details about the upcoming partnership:

The intimate photos of the boxing superstar will be available in six (6) ring-worthy rarities, including:

● Classic

● Negative

● Gallery

● Photographer

● Championship

● Behind the scenes

Christina Jansen
Muhammad Ali

As a special thank you for their support of the collection, Championship card buyers will be automatically entered into a randomized drawing for a chance to claim one (1) of (3) unique physical prints.

“I took these photographs of the Greatest in 1986 in London. I have cherished these images but I have not shown them to the world thus far. I am so happy that using NFTs I can now share them with the old and new generation of fans. Keeping his unique spirit alive.”

There will be a “stress test” prior to the official launch day on August 9 at 1 pm EST / 10 am PST. Fans can sign-up through the official WAX Discord and will receive a free promo pack as a “thank you” for participating.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new updates in the meantime.

Culture News

Red Bull Batalla Is Ready For Big Things in 2021

The ability to rap is a gift, and the ability to rap on the spot with little to no preparation is one that sometimes gets under-appreciated. Rap isn’t just a musical talent, it’s a feeling. It tells the beautiful stories of life and all of its highs, lows, and everything in between. In addition to the talent element, it takes a certain amount of grit and toughness to not only make it as a rapper but to elevate to the point where you’re performing on some of the world’s biggest stages. One of those stages is Red Bull Batalla, the world’s largest Spanish-speaking rap competition that gathers some of the best premier freestyle rappers on the planet to go toe to toe and put their talents on display.

Red Bull
Skiper & RC

If you are anything like me, then battle rapping isn’t an unfamiliar concept. I’m from an era (the early 2000s) where kids would rush from the school bus in order to be home in time to watch 106 & Park. The show, of course, was centered in the heart of Harlem eventually moving to Manhattan, and every Friday was “Freestyle Friday.” The segment mostly consisted of rising underground rappers who would square off in battles to determine the champion. “Freestyle Friday” was fun, entertaining, and full of musical prowess. Of course, you may have even been (or be) lucky enough to live in an area where battle rapping surrounds you every day.

Battle rapping itself is something that has been around for decades, and just about all of your favorite rappers have had to do it at some point. The ability to “spit” is largely determined by what you can do on the spot, and battle rapping is the ultimate test. Sort of like the concept of MTV Unplugged. Sure large-scale performances with insane production and effects were awesome, but if an artist could strip all of that away and perform only with a small band in front of an intimate audience—well that’s how you knew an artist was the truth.

Red Bull
Tess La & Juca

Now let’s dive a little more into the importance of battle rapping. As mentioned earlier, it’s mostly freestyle, aka “from the top of the dome,” and back in the day, winners would get bragging rights for being the better rapper. To be successful, one has to know many different rap styles and have the ability to easily switch their flow and cadence while having memorable one-liners. You also have to know your opponent and be emotional while not letting your emotions get the best of you. Simply put—it’s a skill, and not very many people can do it.

That said, there is a small percentage of individuals in the world who can, and many of them will be gracing the stage as we kick off the newest season of Red Bull Batalla. Having been around since 2005, Batalla has provided a platform for the best hip hop improvisers in the Spanish world to connect, develop and compete, becoming the world’s biggest international freestyle battle competition. 

The 2020 season was a record-breaking one, and Red Bull Batalla went through an intense process that required each MC to submit a freestyle video in order to select the competitors for this upcoming 2021 season. The submissions were judged and ranked by a panel of experts, and we spoke with four of them—Yartzi, Jordy, El Dilemma, and Jayco a couple of weeks ago in New York City.

Red Bull
Red Bull Batalla

Yartzi, who hails from Puerto Rico, is a 2x Batalla US Champion. Jordy is a 2021 competitor and 2019 runner-up. El Dilemma is the New York King of Spanish freestyle rap, and Jayco is a 2021 competitor. We talked to them about their personal rap battle journeys, and what they want the world to know about Red Bull Batalla.

ONE37pm: When did you guys first start battle rapping?

Adonys: I first started battle rapping officially about two years ago, but when you are freestyling, you are just going off the top of your head in terms of whatever comes out. I’ve been doing that since I was around 12 or 13. 

Jayco: I started rapping when I was 14!

El Dilemma: I started rapping around 2007. One of my biggest inspirations is J. Cole, and that’s when I really began tapping into freestyle mode.

Yartzi: For me, I started in 2014. I participated in a National Tournament in Puerto Rico called the Punchline Master. It was my first-time battle rapping professionally.

ONE37pm: What is your mindset when you know you have a competition?

Adonys: Well if I know I have a competition in the upcoming weeks, I tend not to over-prepare myself because it’s too much of a synthetic scenario. It’s freestyle, so you just want to flow off the top of your head. I try not to bring issues from the outside into the battle because that can affect my way of executing an idea. In terms of preparing for the competition, I work on my flow, drill, cadence, and delivery, but there isn’t much. Obviously, you want to be knowledgeable about the things that happen every day in terms of history and geography, but for me, it’s more of a mindset.

Jayco: I go into every competition clear headed, and I always try to be culturally relevant to all different cultures so that way when I travel to these different countries I can connect with fans authentically. When it comes to my mindset, I try not to overdo it by competing in too many competitions, but I am always sharpening my toolset by practicing as much as possible.

El Dilemma: Same thing with me! I try to stay clear-headed by not bringing outside problems in and focusing on what’s ahead. When it’s time for a competition I avoid distractions and stay off social media. 

Yartzi: My practices consist of exercises to have my mind stay sharp. I experiment with different formats and situations, and I practice mental agility. Anything I can do to stay on top!

ONE37pm: I know you all said that you try your best to stay clear-headed, but do you pull from your emotions and experiences when battling?

Adonys: I’ve actually done more emotional rapping than battling. I’ve been freestyling since I was 13, and I’m now 25. Out of these past 12 years, only the last couple have been battling. The other years were me having a bad day at work and rapping about it as I’m driving home, so that was my stress reliever. If it comes down to it again, I could do it and dig deeper, so it’s something that is natural for me.

Jayco: I’m an emotional rapper, and I channel that into my style and rhymes. My mood doesn’t make a difference as far as battling and being aggressive, and I use freestyle to let it all out and channel everything that I have been going through.

El Dilemma: My emotions run high when I’m battling, and I channel that energy back and forth. Battle rappers have got to have a lot of aggression when going against each other, and when somebody is going hard, you have to go harder. When I rap I have tunnel vision, and my focus is on my opponent and not letting the element of surprise get to you—especially when you aren’t on your home turf.

Yartzi: I definitely channel my emotions and experiences. You’ve got to have a lot of willpower, the ability to concentrate, and not give up when things get tough. The hard moments and the struggles are the ones that end up being the best battles.

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what do you want the world to know about Red Bull Batalla?

Adonys: Besides being a global phenomenon, I want for Batalla to be seen as an art form. You know Batalla is kind of like a sports competition, and Red Bull provides a great platform for artists to express themselves.

Jayco: Red Bull Batalla has provided a worldwide platform for 15 years, and it’s a stepping stone for a lot of stars through the internet and social media. Batalla has helped put the culture on the map, and I think that is super important to help learn more about the rappers.

El Dilemma: I 100% agree! I want more people to know about Batalla in the USA because it is the youngest movement compared to when you look at other countries. Batalla represents the culture, and we’ve been doing it for a long time. There is a lot of potential!

Yartzi: Freestyling is one of the most impressive things in the world! You have to conquer nerves, have agility, etc., and it’s an impressive thing to do. The world has a certain view of rapping not requiring a certain amount of talent, and it is exactly the opposite. You have to put a lot of practice into it just like with any other career, and battle rapping is prestigious. You have to respect the discipline.

Red Bull
Tess La & Juca

The largest Spanish freestyle rap battle in the world is set to kick off soon, and 36 rappers will have a chance to battle it out. The action starts on August 12th with the prestigious Twitch Battles, a bracket-style battle event where competitors will go face-to-face in battles captured in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. These 1v1 battles will be reviewed by a special panel of judges during a live event on the official Red Bull Batalla Twitch channel taking place on August 12 at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST.

The panel of judges, including former Batalla competitors Tito Yang, Kim MC, and Cuban rapper El B, will evaluate the talent and skills of the MCs and decide if one, both, or none of the competitors is selected to move on to the USA National Final. Judges will assess the freestyle ability of each individual MC, and not who beats whom. Multifaceted Argentinian artist and media professional Muphasa is set to host the live Twitch event. 

Following the event, 13 lyricists will advance to the U.S. Finals in Los Angeles on September 18th. Additional information can be found below.

U.S. Finals | September 18

The 13 finalists who emerge from Red Bull Batalla Twitch Day victorious will go on to compete with the three returning finalists from 2020 for the U.S. Red Bull Batalla Championship, on September 18 in Los Angeles. During the competition, 16 will become one as the 2021 U.S. Red Bull Batalla Champion is crowned.

World Finals | December 11-12 

Following the U.S. National Final, the respective champions from over 10 countries including the U.S., Mexico, Spain, and Colombia, will square off for the Red Bull Batalla World Final – where only one contestant can be crowned the 2021 Red Bull Batalla World Champion. 

The Livestream of the 2020 Red Bull Batalla World Finals was watched by over 1.5 million concurrent viewers, making it one of the two most-watched music live streams of the year. To relive 2020 highlights, head to the Red Bull Batalla website. To learn more information about the 2021 Red Bull Batalla season, go here.

Culture News

Renowned Stylist Courtney Mays Joins eBay’s “ReOpen Ready” Campaign

This ongoing pandemic has been challenging in a lot of categories, but it has also hit us in areas that we could have never previously imagined.

Many of us transitioned into remote work at the start of the pandemic and as a result, we ditched our business attire and formal/semi-formal outfits for comfortable loungewear and casual clothing. Some of us have since gotten stuck in a style rut, and even for those that haven’t, there has been an adjustment period fashion-wise in terms of returning to the office, or even with regular events that don’t include the grocery store. That is where renowned stylist Courtney Mays is here to help.

Mays is the mastermind behind the scenes responsible for styling Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Deandre Jordan, Anthony Anderson, and plenty more, and is now partnering with eBay on their brand new “ReOpen Ready” campaign. 

The “ReOpen Ready” campaign is a brand new microsite that features up-to-date trends and data tied to the world “reopening” after a year in quarantine. As a part of this campaign, Mays will be offering fashion tips and favorite items for being Front Row and Office Ready. Courtney’s picks for being Front Row Ready include a Burberry trench coat, Chanel bag, Garrett Leight sunglasses, a Les Tien’s yellow crewneck, an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and Reebok x Pyer Moss sneakers.

We had the opportunity to speak to Mays about being a part of “ReOpen Ready,” and what to look forward to in the future.

ONE37pm: This eBay “ReOpen Ready” campaign you are a part of is super exciting! What attracted you to the opportunity?

Mays: I’ve always loved the hunt…searching for a rare sneaker or designer collab, or even better a vintage watch or antique. eBay has always been the plug!  

ONE37pm: You’re offering some dope style tips to be “Front Row Ready,” could you talk a little more about that?

Mays: Outside is open! We’ve been at home in our Zoom-friendly pj’s for over a year now. So now that we can go out into the world, it’s fun to actually put on real clothes, or even well-dressed pajamas or sweats! However, No matter what you wear, do it in confidence! 

ONE37pm: What is your advice to those of us that may be stuck in a style rut from being in a pandemic for over a year?

Mays: I think this is a time for reinvention.  Now is the time to try those pieces you maybe never would have, or go for ALL your jewels or crazy frames you were too afraid to wear. We’re back to being ReOpen, so it’s time to show out!

You can continue to keep up with Mays on Instagram.