Hobby Musings: Jackson, Mahomes Lead the Way for Football in 2019

Hobby Musings: Jackson, Mahomes Lead the Way for Football in 2019 – The Kansas City Chiefs winning their first Super Bowl in 50 years marked the official end of the 2019 football season. With Patrick Mahomes leading the way, Kansas City’s win capped off a fun NFL year that saw the quarterback continue his rise to NFL superstardom on the field and in the hobby. This season also saw the rise of Lamar Jackson to MVP and elite status among football card collectors. Rookies like Kyler Murray also made their mark in the hobby. All in all, fans continued to shred packs and boxes in search of the top players. For more on what this NFL season meant for the trading card world, I had the chance to catch up with Panini America’s Rob Springs. The following interview was conducted via email.

Hobby Musings: Jackson, Mahomes Lead the Way for Football in 2019

KS: With football season now officially over, how do you think 2019 went from a trading card standpoint for Panini?
RS: Overall, I think it ended up being a strong year. For the rookie class, I think it started out strong – slowed down – and then has picked back up. But there were several outstanding rookies that sold well including Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones, Josh Jacobs, Nick Bosa, A.J. Brown, Drew Lock and more. As far as non-rookies, the market was really strong on guys that emerged like Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry, while continuing to be strong for players like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and more.

Hobby Musings: Jackson, Mahomes Lead the Way for Football in 2019KS: The Chiefs rallied to beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Which player had his card performance boosted the most by his performance in the game?
RS: Easily Patrick Mahomes. The combination of the things he is doing at his age, along with winning his first ring has accelerated an already healthy Mahomes market.

KS: Overall, who was the trading card MVP?
RS: Probably Lamar Jackson for the entire year. Just like his performance on the field, his hobby performance was the biggest breakthrough in the market this year.

KS: Who was the Rookie of the Year?
RS: In the trading card market it was close, but I’ll still take Kyler Murray over Daniel Jones. Kyler’s cards performed very well across the entire year – for a little longer than Jones.

KS: One of the hottest debates in the NFL is Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson. Based on what you’re seeing from collectors and hobby shop feedback, which one is more popular right now?
RS: After the Super Bowl, it’s clearly Mahomes. Before the playoffs started, I would still say Mahomes, but I think it was really tight between the two of them.

KS: Besides Jackson and Mahomes, who’s another player who saw his card values and popularity rise during the season?
RS: Derrick Henry had a huge push at the end of the year and the playoffs. Christian McCaffrey and Nick Chubb were other running backs that saw a nice jump. Others that pushed up include Michael Thomas, George Kittle, Chris Godwin, Deshaun Watson – it was a good year for key cards for multiple players.

KS: The season being over can only mean one thing in that the draft will be upon us soon enough. What are your thoughts on it this year and what it can mean for the football card market?
RS: This year is going to be huge. This might be the most loaded skill position draft we have seen in a while. QB’s like Joe Burrow, Tua and Herbert along with a ton of great WR’s and a few good RB’s will make this a very exciting draft. Great for prospecting!

KS: As we sit today, which draft prospect are you most excited about?
RS: I still like Tua long-term for the card market. His pedigree and the things he can do when healthy, along with his personality and background, can really lead to big things in the future for him.

KS: Besides the draft, free agency also promises to be interesting with a lot of big names like Tom Brady and Drew Brees among those who could be available. How does all of that potential big name turnover affect your strategy in the offseason?
RS: We will do what we do. We have some great in-house talent when it comes to making clones for players moving to new teams, so look for players shown in their new uniforms as early as June products.

KS: If we see Brady change teams, what do you think that would do to his trading card market?
RS: I think his values will stay steady, unless he is just a complete flop for his new team. But if he goes somewhere like Las Vegas, his cards will stay super strong.

KS: What do you have coming out for football cards in the near future?
RS: Right now, we are pretty set with our calendar, so you will see Plates & Patches, Select, Panini One, National Treasures and Flawless through the end of March. We are introducing Chronicles Football in early April and then will move on to the new class with 2020 Score.

For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.

Hobby Musings: Jackson, Mahomes Lead the Way for Football in 2019
Kelsey Schroyer