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Why Buy From Icons?
Icons Shop Ltd is the world's leading football memorabilia company and Icons.com is the most trusted brand in the game. Why? Because authenticity means everything to us. After all, it means just as much to our customers.
We know that shopping for signed memorabilia can be difficult, especially if you’re new to it. So, if you find yourself wondering why you should buy from us, we’ve outlined some vital questions that we believe you should consider when shopping around…
What’s the history of the company I’m buying from?In our market, many companies spring up overnight and just as many disappear quickly. As such, a longstanding reputation goes a long way when it comes to signed memorabilia.
Icons has been in business since 1999, making us one of the web’s oldest signed memorabilia operators. Starting as a network of personal websites for legendary players such as Dennis Bergkamp, Ryan Giggs and Henrik Larsson, we bought our domain name way back in the 1990s and we’ve been building a reputation as the home of signed football memorabilia ever since.
Nowadays, if you search for any kind of signed shirt on Google, the chances are we’ll come out either on top in the rankings or close to it. That’s because Google rankings are based not just on longevity but also the quality of a site’s content and the number of references it has from globally recognised sites.
This takes many years of hard work and cannot be achieved overnight. We’re proud of our history and we’re confident of our standing in the signed memorabilia industry.
How do they get their signatures?All Icons products come from closed signing sessions at which the player or manager is paid a fee for their service. We deal directly with the players' representatives and because we have worked with them for many years, they trust us and often personally recommend us to other agents and sporting figures.
As a way of safeguarding our guarantee that everything sold on Icons.com is genuine, we never buy memorabilia from members of the public. We never, ever accost players at matches, outside training grounds or in airport terminals and we never, ever buy products from companies who do this.
Do they work with the biggest names in the game?
Icons has exclusive contracts with Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Pele, Gareth Bale, Dele Alli and Eden Hazard. We have long-term working relationships with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Andres Iniesta, Eric Cantona, Ronaldo Nazario, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. In recent times we’ve signed with Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo. And that’s just a shortlist of names.
We truly believe ours is the greatest line-up in football. But it’s not just that. We’ve been working with Messi since he was 17-years-old. Our relationship with Ronaldo dates back to when he first arrived in England. Neymar Jr was at Santos when we first signed with him.
Several websites may offer you signed memorabilia from some of these names but very few, if any, can say they’ve worked as closely, for as long as we have, and with as many names as we have.
Do they offer officially licensed products?In 2010, Icons was awarded the world's first signed football memorabilia licence – and it wasn’t handed to us by just anyone. FIFA, football’s world-famous global governing body, chose us to produce a collection of signed products for an official FIFA World Cup range, marking the 2010 edition of the tournament in South Africa.
We went on to create a range for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and have since been awarded the same rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever official signed memorabilia licence for the UEFA Champions League and our relationship with UEFA is still going strong today. Our rights now also include the UEFA Europa League and in 2015 we were also given the first ever UEFA European Championship memorabilia licence ahead of UEFA EURO 2016.
A year later, we were awarded a licence to create Official England Signed Memorabilia for all Three Lions teams past and present. Icons have since conducted numerous official signing sessions at the headquarters of English football, St George’s Park, and are proud supporters of the national team.
But that’s not all. Far from it. In 2014, Icons launched the first ever licensed memorabilia range for an individual: Official Messi Signed Merchandise. While the official range was launched only a few years ago, the start of the 2017-18 season marks the twelfth season of our working relationship with Leo. We first signed with the legendary Argentine magician when he had just broken into the Barcelona first team and to this day we still meet with the man himself three times a year.
So, ask yourself this: if the biggest governing bodies of world and European football deal with Icons – and let’s not forget a certain Lionel Messi – where else would you go to get official signed memorabilia?
How good is their Certificate of Authenticity?All our signed items come with a Certificate of Authenticity that we’ve been developing and enhancing for years. An Icons Shop Ltd Certificate of Authenticity acts as a guarantee that the signature you are buying is 100% genuine. Printed on high-quality card, our COAs detail when and where the item was signed, as well as showing a photograph of the Icon with the item, where possible.
Each COA carries an official Icons hologram. On the hologram is a unique product number that matches corresponding hologram on your item. That way you can be sure the memorabilia you own – and the COA that authenticates it – is the real deal.
Do they shoot their own signing videos starring the world's best players?Showcasing our products and the superstars who sign them, our unique signing videos add an extra level of authenticity. But don’t just take our word for it. Watch any one of our videos with Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Bale, Cantona, Hazard or Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo and see for yourself.
Do they deal with the world's other great memorabilia companies?US-based memorabilia company Upper Deck have long-term contracts with sporting superstars such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and now Rory McIlroy. That’s why Icons is proud to be the exclusive stockist and distributor of Upper Deck products in Europe and the Middle East.
We also work with SE Products from Australia for their unique collection of rugby and cricket memorabilia, as well as Pursuit3, who have the rights for the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.
Do they deal with the world's biggest brands?Icons have supplied signed memorabilia to a number of the planet’s biggest brands. We have recently worked with MasterCard, Pepsi, Sony, Heineken, Britvic, KFC, Konami, Topps and William Hill in supplying authentic signed products for a variety of promotional campaigns.
In addition, our products have been stocked in the world-famous department store Harrods for a decade now. Proudly displayed in the Sports Icons section on the fifth floor and integrated into the Sports department, we even offer exclusive products framed especially for our Harrods customers.
Who are the people who work for them and what are their backgrounds?We’re not a one-man band trying to disguise ourselves as a multinational company. Our Who’s Who page will tell you a little about the real people behind our brand but if you want to know more, we’re open to telling you our stories.
Edward, our founder, was Managing Director of Tottenham Hotspur and then Merchandising Director of Manchester United. Dan, our CEO, has an Economics degree from Cambridge University and has worked on the strategy of some of the biggest media brands, such as The Guardian, Capital FM, Channel 4 and Lastminute.com.
Our sales and customer support team are helpful and friendly individuals, who are passionate about their work and are more than happy to chat about what we do and why you should only ever buy from us. Our website editors have strong backgrounds in journalism, ensuring the highest levels of accuracy and a razor-sharp attention to detail. While our finance team are highly experienced, qualified professionals, withholding the high standards expected of an industry leader.
Contact details for all our staff members are readily available on Icons.com, so come say hello!
Who are the owners?In 2015, Icons successfully arranged a management buyout and welcomed Marka PJSC as our majority shareholder.
Marka PJSC are the first public joint-stock company focused on the UAE’s retail and food and beverage sectors. They have integrated Icons’ products into Modell’s Sporting Goods stores in Dubai and the UEFA Champions League Experience located in Abu Dhabi’s famous Yas Mall.
Icons’ Chairman is Marka CEO Benoit Lamonerie, who follows in the footsteps of our previous Chairman, Nick Peel, who brokered the original deal that brought Marka and Icons together.
Do they own other brands?
As a result of Marka’s investment in Icons, we were able to buy the assets of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, one of the UK’s leading sports memorabilia websites and brands.
A joint management team runs both Icons and A1 but both websites continue to operate independently in order to cater to their respective international and domestic audiences. A1 concentrates on legendary players at legendary prices for a more UK-based market, while Icons sell premium memorabilia signed by the world’s best and distribute to over 90 countries worldwide.
Do they have international distribution?
Icons is an international brand that distributes to over 90 countries around the world. We have representatives in North America and regularly supply customers in Japan, Australia and the Middle East. We have recently worked with partners in Argentina, Nigeria and Iran – such is the diversity of our global audience.
We have a Euro and US Dollar version of our site for our worldwide fan base and with the international popularity of football being what it is, Icons strives to satisfy customers in all four corners of the planet.
How good is their packaging?
We take the time and effort to present the world’s best signed memorabilia in the most stylish and protective way possible. Icons only work with the best suppliers possible when it comes to framing, gift box packaging and holograms. Industry leaders One Vision, Cedar Packaging and Opsec Security Design manufacture our framing, Deluxe Packaging and unique holograms respectively.
Anyone can send out a shirt in a plastic bag but no-one gives their customers the option of official tournament-branded framing, like our official FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League or UEFA EURO frames.
What are their prices like?
Icons products can be more expensive, we know that.
The reason is because we pay the players properly; we buy the current official replica kits and quality boots; we pay Getty Images for the rights to the photos; we invest in branding and unique signing videos; we create fantastic packaging; and everything we do from official licences to holograms is done to reassure the buyer that our items are 100% genuine.
There are other cheaper outlets out there on the internet but can you be certain that what you're buying is real? If it's much cheaper you have every right to be suspicious.
Why are they not members of UACC or similar organisations?
Companies pay a joining fee to become members of these organisations.
There is no vetting of the companies nor how they source their products. We've got nothing against these organisations but buying from someone with an 'official' stamp on their site doesn't mean much in itself.
From our point of view, we think working with Messi and Ronaldo for over a decade, producing high quality authenticity videos, having a FIFA licence, being the first ever official memorabilia company to work with UEFA, and being stocked in Harrods is the kind of reassurance the public respects.
Can you speak to the CEO?
If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised here or if you’re a company who would like to work with Icons, feel free to call our CEO, Dan Jamieson, on 020 7267 6640 or email him via [email protected].