Las Vegas was abuzz in all things sports cards at the First Annual Mint Collective Conference from March 25-27 at the MGM Grand. Organized by Collectable and IMG Events, with lead sponsor eBay, the event had no shortage of celebrity athletes and industry influencers. Included in the roster were Hall of Farmers such as Peyton Manning, whose Omaha Productions signed a three-year production deal with the conference, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, and Paul Pierce.
Compared to the National Sports Collectors Convention (the Nationals), the Mint took a more focused aim at education. The event consisted of three days’ worth of panels covering an abundance of topics like breaking, card shops, the art of cards, and the power of building community. Headlining the industry panels were Sports Card Investor’s Geoff Wilson, Action Network’s Darren Rovell, Fanatics Collectibles’ Josh Luber, and veteran Dr. Jim Beckett, amongst many more.
On the other side of the house, the Mint Collective Marketplace was packed with visitors and booths representing the industry from small card shops to large manufacturers. There were notable booths from the likes of Topps, Fanatics, Panini, Collectable, PWCC, WhatNot, and Dapper. Again, in contrast to Nationals, visitors were able traverse the convention with ease and easily meet influencers and athletes.
The Mint did not disappoint at night, either. Signature ticket holders gained access to the Hakkasan Club, treated to a panel led by Cage Lawyer of the Luka Tigers and Brons OH MY!!! podcast, and capped by a live performance from Rip Pack and Slab, a hip hop trio including former NFLer Jahvid Best.
In all, the Mint was a welcomed newcomer to a growing industry. To boot, the Second Annual Conference has been scheduled for the MGM over the same weekend, and by all estimates should be a larger and more well attended affair.
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