There are a lot of factors that determine the prices of cards. Player popularity, population reports, and player performance are some of them, but not everything starts with a “P.” There’s also one that starts with N — as in “News.” Newsworthy events can drive interest and prices, too.
Combining traditional TV and digital viewing across all networks, this year’s NFL Draft in Cleveland was the third most-watched draft ever. That interest spilled over into sports cards and for football card breakers, it could be a sign of things to come as we edge toward the start of the season later this year. Recent data provided to us by eBay shows some pretty interesting numbers with regard to one of the year’s biggest events that doesn’t involve actual competition on a playing surface.
According to eBay, both searches and sales for this year’s Day 1 picks went through the roof as the first round unfolded on April 29. The rookie who saw the biggest spike was North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who was selected by the San Francisco 49ers. The 20-year-old’s meteoric rise and solid landing spot at #3 overall pushed searches and sales higher than any other player in the first round. Sales of cards featuring the player drafted right behind Lance took a big jump too. New Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts saw items of his soar 3,000 percent.
Chicago Bears fans were excited to see Ohio State’s Justin Fields fall into their lap and both fans and collectors responded by pushing sales of Fields’ earliest cards up by 1,988 percent.
Top pick Trevor Lawrence, who immediately signed an autograph deal with Fanatics after the draft, was hot on eBay too, with searches for the former Clemson quarterback up 1,374 percent.
Interestingly, 9th pick Patrick Surtain II was also a popular search — second behind Lance overall and third in trading cards sold.
Even a former hot prospect who’s been out of the spotlight for awhile was back in the news and thus saw a big spike in interest. Searches for Tim Tebow products jumped 759 percent after the story broke about his potential return to football as a tight end.
Official rookie cards of all of this year’s draft picks won’t be out for a while, but it’s obvious that pre-draft products picturing the players in their college uniforms were selling pretty well. Fans, it seems, are starved for a fresh crop of potential new NFL stars and are wasting no time trying to track them down.