Basically, for a person, football memorabilia is just stuff. But for another, it’s so much more. The industry as a whole is undoubtedly a sleeping giant: Worth an estimated US$4 billion, if sports collectibles were a club, it would be the fifth most valuable in the world.
That’s why the all-new Athletic Club Momento is focused on giving fans access to authentic match-worn football memorabilia, straight from the source, through its app, Momento Market.
Launching today with partner clubs AC Milan, Atlético de Madrid, SL Benfica and Sevilla FC for live auctions of match-worn shirts, Momento Market will also exclusively explore private collections of legendary players like Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fábregas, Dani Alves and César Azpilicueta, as well as the stories behind them.
“I have shirts that are very special to me – shirts that I’ve broken records with, shirts that I’ve won titles with – but I didn’t understand the emotional value they carried for me. me before going through them with Momento”, explains Thierry Henry, AC Momento partner and former Arsenal and Barcelona striker.
Over the years I have attended football matches all over the world and seen some of the biggest names score some of the most important goals. Likewise, I’ve been in small business too, most recently watching a boy my dad works with at a local heating and plumbing company slash a 30-yard strap into the pole on a dreary Tuesday evening.
Although the two are worlds apart in terms of football, for fans the feelings they invoke can be equally special.
Unfortunately, in my 20+ years of watching live football, I have nothing but a Pedro Mendes Portsmouth shirt (side great escape in the 2005/06 campaign) to show my presence. Even that now finds itself in the spotlight in the attic. But with AC Momento, they’re focusing on the stories behind the jerseys – from the iconic trades made by full-time players to the jerseys fans can buy in their in-game auctions – and the beauty that can be found within them.
“I’m a football romantic, obsessed with the history and culture of the game, and I feel like the category lacks the storytelling that makes match-wearing [jerseys] so fascinating,” says John Brennan, founder of Momento AC.
“I have been collecting football memorabilia for years and decided to launch AC Momento with the aim of giving fans like me more opportunities to collect match wear, and to be able to do so directly from their clubs and favorite athletes.”
Launching today with its first series of live matches this weekend, the platform is on a mission to bring clubs, players and fans together through auctions, marketplaces and with a focus on storytelling. community that connects everyone, from the payment of supporter tickets to the club captain – as a fan.
Tackling a key market issue, AC Momento partners directly with clubs and players to ensure authenticity, straight from the source through its Momento Market app. Each item comes with a “Momento” – a beautifully crafted digital Certificate of Authenticity – which “proves the provenance and ownership of each item while the physical shirt undergoes [their] end-to-end curation process,” according to the brand’s website.
“Right now, my career, these shirts, I’m glad Momento can keep them in a secure vault,” says Thierry Henry. “They were everywhere, in someone’s house or someone else’s house, it’s very important to me. And to keep this place safe, you never know what could happen. Someone could come in through breaking into your home, stealing everything, it happens to footballers all the time.”
The Athletic Club Momento will launch on August 24, 2022, with auctions beginning the weekend of August 27-28; fans can download Momento Market app from the App Store and Google Play Store.
For any football fan, memories are everything. And if AC Momento has taught me anything so far, it’s that I need to get that Mendes shirt out of the attic, dust it off, and tape it tight to my mantelpiece. What a day it was.