On January 2nd ESPN’s Business Reporter Darren Rovell tweeted that Press Pass was closing their doors. Unlike some sports card rumors this one seemed to be valid, especially considering the source. Press Pass VP of Operations Nick Matijevich finally validated the rumor as truth and as of this past Monday Press Pass has ceased all day to day operations according to their website.
Press Pass has made some great strides in sports cards beginning with adding jersey relics in to cards in 1996, a year before Upper Deck inserted the now famous Game Jersey 3-card set in to the 1997 Upper Deck Baseball release. They were also one of the first companies to insert autographs too.
While they have since been forced in to NASCAR, unlicensed NCAA and entertainment sets they are still a founding block in the sports card world and should be remembered fondly.
What happens next with NASCAR?
Panini has the money and the way they have been grabbing up licensing they seem to have it down to a science.
Topps has the money and with losing the NFL license in 2016 a NASCAR license would offer them a new revenue stream.
Upper Deck has become a niche card company and they do not really have the money to put up front though they do have experience on their side, they previously produced NASCAR cards in the late 1990s-early 2000s.
Leaf is always a wild card when it comes to licensing
One thing that has me a bit dumbfounded is that a number of unredeemed 2013 & 2014 Press Pass redemption cards have shown up on eBay for insane prices ($5-40). These cards are unredeemable now, why would someone spend anything on a relatively worthless card besides possibly a set completest?