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Demand for Bryant memorabilia reaches fever pitch after Kobe's death; photograph sold for over $75,000

On online luxury reseller The RealReal Inc, searches for Kobe Bryant sneakers spiked about 30 times.

Reuters|
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 06.36 PM IST
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Reuters
Mentions on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook about purchasing Kobe Bryant jerseys more than doubled on Sunday.
Mentions on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook about purchasing Kobe Bryant jerseys more than doubled on Sunday.
Rick Probstein, one of the largest sellers of sports memorabilia on online auction site eBay, was at his computer working in his New Jersey office on Sunday when sale of items featuring former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant suddenly shot higher.

That was how the 50-year-old initially learned about the death of former Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, who was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday.

"I saw an email ... Kobe sold, Kobe sold, Kobe sold ... I was like 'Oh my God, what happened?'" he said in a telephone interview on Monday "It's horrible. It's a horrible way to get news when you are getting it through sales."

Since the news of Bryant's death broke, about 50 people have contacted Probstein to list related memorabilia items on consignment on eBay, he said. Probstein has also sold several Kobe Bryant basketball cards - some that were listed for more than $10,000 - along with signed basketballs, framed items and shoes.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 12,800 Bryant items had been sold on eBay Inc since news of his death broke, including a group of 31 trading cards with his picture that sold for $75,000, according to data on the site.
Reuters
There were more than 69,000 social media mentions of Bryant's National Basketball Association jersey on Sunday and Monday.
There were more than 69,000 social media mentions of Bryant's National Basketball Association jersey on Sunday and Monday.

That demand has caused prices to skyrocket, according to Probstein, who said he has seen prices increase from five to 15 times more than the original sale price.

There were other measures of how Bryant's superstar status - he was a league all-star for 18 of his 20 seasons - drove interest in his artifacts.

Mentions on social media sites including Twitter and Facebook about purchasing Kobe Bryant jerseys more than doubled on Sunday following the news of his death, according to social media monitoring company Brandwatch.

There were more than 69,000 social media mentions of Bryant's National Basketball Association jersey on Sunday and Monday, the firm said, with many users sharing nostalgic stories about their first Kobe jerseys.

Bryant's book "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play" was the top-selling book on Amazon.com Inc as of midday on Monday.

On online luxury reseller The RealReal Inc, searches for Kobe Bryant sneakers spiked about 30 times higher.

From Serena Williams To Andy Murray, When Racquets Bore The Brunt Of Players' Rage

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Made In 4 Weeks, Gone In 3 Seconds

8 Jun, 2018
The manufacturing of a tennis racquet involves modern methods — like 3D technology — to age old skills such as cutting and moulding. A racquet begins its journey as an idea on the engineer’s computer. From there it goes to the workshop, where different materials, chiefly carbon fibre, are cut, treated, moulded, painted and dried. The carbon is sometimes stored in a room with sub-zero temperatures. The racquet is strung and gripped. This is followed by testing. Only then is it released for sale or shipped to the player it was commissioned by. A few years ago, Djokovic appeared in a video for his racquet manufacturer, showing the process of ordering a customised racquet. The wait time for the model was six weeks. But as we saw in Paris, three hard blows against the court in a couple of seconds mangled the frame beyond recognition. Here are moments when racquets bore the brunt of a player’s rage, and a racquet engineer somewhere cringed in horror: It took Novak Djokovic about three seconds to break his racquet at the French Open. It probably took between three to six weeks to make it.
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