A resurgence in the popularity of sports memorabilia trading cards over the past couple of years has been a big hit with collectors.
Founder of Dappz Sports, Matt McGuckin, affectionately known as “Dappz,” seized the opportunity presented by the renewed interest in sports cards and transformed it into a thriving venture. Growing up in a sports-loving family, with his grandfather being a scout for the New York Jets, Matt’s passion for collecting sports cards was kindled from a young age, setting the stage for his entrepreneurial journey.
Dappz Sports originated in 2019, initially as a one-man operation in Matt’s bedroom. Fast forward to 2021, the company had grossed an impressive $5 million in sales and opened a retail store on the famous Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California. This brick-and-mortar shop offers enthusiasts a unique experience where they can browse and purchase sports trading cards in person, connect with other collectors, and even attend card signing events with sports celebrities.
The company’s journey from a small online operation to a cross-platform Dappz Sports brand is remarkable. It encompasses a 24/7 online live-shop experience, on-demand card reveals, giveaways, educational content, live events, and much more. What sets Dappz Sports apart is its emphasis on fostering a global community of fans who share their passion for sports and trading cards.
Online auctions, e-commerce platforms, and social media have played pivotal roles in transforming the sports collectibles and memorabilia market into a thriving industry. Matt envisions Dappz Sports as the future of shopping, breathing new life into the age-old tradition of trading sports cards, offering an engaging platform for fans to connect with their favorite athletes and brands without breaking the bank.
The sports trading card industry is experiencing a resurgence and is increasingly being viewed as an alternative investment category, joining the ranks of fine art, rare wine, and luxury automobiles. In 2021, the core sports memorabilia market was valued at $12.2 billion, with projections indicating a growth rate of more than 15.6% over the next decade. The trading card market alone is estimated to be worth $13 billion, according to Market Decipher research.
Dappz Sports caters to a diverse range of sports enthusiasts, from traditional sports leagues like UFC, NFL, MLB, NBA, and FIFA World Cup to the captivating realms of non-sports trading cards such as Star Wars, Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, and Marvel. The company’s mission is to connect like-minded fans globally, fostering a sense of shared passion for sports, entertainment, and the excitement of collecting.
Becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t initially on Matt’s radar, but it became a natural progression in his pursuit of fulfillment and passion. His deep-rooted love for sports, nurtured by his family’s connection to football and his own affinity for collecting sports cards, led him down this unexpected path.
As he documented his journey into the world of sports card collecting on YouTube, sharing insights and knowledge, Dappz Sports began to take shape. Matt’s passion, combined with the resurgence of interest in sports cards, created a powerful synergy that drove his journey forward. His business not only prospered but also expanded into various forms of media, encompassing live streaming, podcasting, and content creation, culminating in the establishment of a media network.
Matt’s ability to spot investment opportunities was honed through personal experiences like his acquisition of a unique Star Wars card known as the Jedi A La Kurosawa “superfractor,” which was an exceptionally rare 1/1 card. While he received substantial offers for the card, his decision to retain it as a marketing tool has been influential in his entrepreneurial journey.
For Matt, success is not solely about growth rates or lofty expectations but is found in the daily grind, the joy of pursuing his passion, and the cumulative effort he has invested over time. His commitment to building a sports media company that engages fans who share his interests is what drives him.
One of the key challenges he has faced is determining whom to trust as his business rapidly expands and the need to hire new team members arises. Finding individuals who treat the business as if it were their own is a rare and valuable quality, demonstrating dedication and care that is deeply appreciated.
Patience has played a pivotal role in Matt’s journey. He recognizes the importance of gradual growth and setting realistic expectations. He emphasizes the significance of embracing acceptance, which allows for navigating each day with greater ease and planning for growth. Entrepreneurs must accept their current reality while consistently dedicating themselves to their work. Matt believes that success comes from putting in the work and staying true to one’s passion.
For Matt, habits and routines are integral to his success. He begins his day with a Starbucks coffee and finds that outdoor activities like football and golf are essential for reenergizing and clearing his head after long hours indoors. Regular visits to the gym, cold plunges, and saunas are part of his wellness routine, inspired by the book “The Power of Habit.” These habits help him maintain physical and mental well-being and provide a much-needed break from his daily work routine.
Dappz Sports is not just a business for Matt; it’s a community dedicated to education, entertainment, and mental wellness. His goal is to create an experience that entertains and educates people while offering them a respite from the pressures of life.
In conclusion, Matt’s entrepreneurial journey from a one-man bedroom operation to a multi-faceted sports media and trading card empire is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the ability to adapt to changing trends and opportunities. Dappz Sports is not only a thriving business but also a community where sports enthusiasts can come together to share their love for the game.