We Predict… The 2020-21 Season

Usually when we write the intro to our predictions blog we try to make an impassioned case for why the upcoming football season will be the very best and most exhilarating to date. But seeing as 2019/20 finished only what seems like fifteen minutes and two ad breaks ago we’re going to cut to the chase: this season could be a difficult one to watch.

Hold up, we said could be. While there’s every chance this season may be dogged by injury and fatigue owing to a unfathomably packed schedule (or cut short altogether) it could also be just as marvellous as ever. Think about it this way: with Pep, Frank, Ole and Jose on their tails, Liverpool are defending an English title for the first time in decades! Chelsea have bought a vast amount of exciting continental talent! Leeds United are back! The UEFA Champions League is as wide open as it has been for years! And there are still three episodes left of that Jose Mourinho documentary!

For all these reasons and more, we promise 2020/21 will be a lot of fun. And even if it isn’t, we still get UEFA EURO 2020 for dessert next summer.

So, on the eve of opening weekend in the Premier League, we, the staff of Icons.com, are back after a year off from embarrassing ourselves with wayward predictions like Spurs finishing second and Jean Michael Seri being signing of the season for 2018/19. This year we hope to more accurately answer the burning questions keeping everyone awake at night. But don’t just take our word for it, send us your predictions for the season ahead on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages. As ever, you can hardly do much worse.

And, of course, be sure to check out our fantastic range of signed items from Premier League stars past and present – available right now on Icons.com. Now then, let’s get to it…

Are Liverpool and Manchester City set to continue their dominance in England?

Edward Freedman, Non-Executive Chairman

Premier League winners: Pep Guardiola has learned from last year’s mistakes and has added to his MANCHESTER CITY squad well enough to overturn Liverpool who need to strengthen and haven’t. They don’t have the depth. Keep an eye on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal – hanging on to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was huge for the Gunners.
2nd – Liverpool 3rd – Chelsea 4th – Arsenal
Relegated: Fulham, Newcastle United and Aston Villa
Golden Boot: GABRIEL JESUS has to step up this season with Leroy Sane gone and Sergio Aguero ageing. It’s a bold choice but I don’t want to be boring and go with Harry Kane!

Serie A winners: If Luis Suarez ends up in Turin expect him to further improve JUVENTUS with goals. The man loves a challenge!
La Liga winners: There will be big changes at FC BARCELONA and while I don’t trust Ronald Koeman, I just see the club getting it right again. I don’t want to bet against them in any way.
Bundesliga winners: How can anyone bet against BAYERN MUNICH? They’re just a juggernaut who remind me of FC Barcelona at their 2011 peak.

UEFA Champions League winners: If Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann gel as well as they can, and Ansu Fati steps in to replace Suarez, FC BARCELONA get it done.
UEFA Europa League winners: I like NAPOLI here.

Signing of the season: KAI HAVERTZ could be the next Kevin De Bruyne. He’s the signing that closes the gap to the top two.

Mark my words… Erling Braut Haaland will sign for FC Barcelona in January. He’s a very marketable player and with all the departures at the club, the striker is just what they need.

Who can stop Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool from repeating their title heroics?

Dan Jamieson, CEO

Premier League winners: The best team of last season has not weakened. LIVERPOOL will top the table once again. City, definitely second best last year, now are without David Silva and Leroy Sane. Chelsea have made great signings on paper but it’ll be too difficult to integrate them all at once.
2nd – Manchester City 3rd – Chelsea 4th – Manchester United
Relegated: Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United
Golden Boot: MOHAMED SALAH does the business for the champions.

Serie A winners: Yawn… JUVENTUS.
La Liga winners: Half yawn… REAL MADRID.
Bundesliga winners: Big yawn… BAYERN MUNICH.

UEFA Champions League winners: This year brings lucky number seven to LIVERPOOL.
UEFA Europa League winners: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR secure a UEFA Champions League spot by winning this one.

Signing of the season: I was excited to see TIMO WERNER at Anfield but I have to say less so now.

My team, Liverpool, will… will own our perch once again with English title number 20 and European crown number seven.

Mark my words… Pep Guardiola will be gone from Manchester City by the end of the season. Everyone will fall in love with Leeds United boss Marcelo Biesla and Lionel Messi will decide to stay at Barça til the end of his career.

Can Lazio upset the odds in Serie A?

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League winners: I could list the top four in almost any order as this year’s title race will be much closer than last year’s with Manchester United and Chelsea strengthening so much. That said, I’m sticking with LIVERPOOL.
2nd – Manchester City 3rd – Manchester United 4th – Chelsea
Relegated: Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa
Golden Boot: PIERRE EMERICK-AUBAMEYANG and MOHAMED SALAH will share top spot again unless Sergio Aguero stays fit for more than 30 games. Expect a valiant first season effort from Timo Werner as well.

Serie A winners: LAZIO-POOL with Lucas Leiva, Pepe Reina and Luis Alberto leading the way.
La Liga winners: Though Lionel Messi‘s form will be as strong as ever, a fully-fit Eden Hazard and better organisation from top to bottom wins REAL MADRID back to back titles.
Bundesliga winners: The same old story in Germany as BAYERN MUNICH fend off Dortmund and one other several games from the finish line.

UEFA Champions League winners: MANCHESTER CITY will win an all-English final.
UEFA Europa League winners: AS ROMA take a UEFA Champions League spot with success in this tournament.

Signing of the season: Let’s go with the obvious choice of TIMO WERNER. Adam Lallana at Brighton and Hove Albion will be a close second.

My team, Liverpool, will… go out of the League Cup early, have a wobble in the Premier League but still end up on 85+ points and win silverware. The front three will be disbanded at the end of the season.

Mark my words… Abdoulaye Doucoure will earn a big move within 18 months of arriving at Everton – perhaps to Paris Saint-Germain? Cambridge United win automatic promotion from League Two. Aleksandar Mitrovic will get sent off at least once with seven plus yellow cards.

Is it now or never for Steven Gerrard and Rangers?

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Premier League winners: Sadly, LIVERPOOL haven’t gone anywhere. It won’t be quite the stroll last year turned out to be but it’s clear Manchester City haven’t invested in the right areas (no offence, Issa Kabore). Could a change at the top come just below the title race?
2nd – Chelsea 3rd – Manchester City 4th – Manchester United
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa
Golden Boot: I love the idea of TIMO WERNER coming into the league and tearing it up. Christian Pulisic in particular is going to love feeding this guy.

Serie A winners: This is it. This is the year INTERNAZIONALE prise the Scudetto away from Juve.
La Liga winners: FC Barcelona are a mess and Real Madrid don’t inspire me all that much. Perhaps it’s time for the highest paid manager in the world to go one better than simply closing the gap. Believe it: I’m picking Joao Felix and ATLETICO MADRID.
Bundesliga winners: Only a mad man would go against BAYERN MUNICH, right? Even I’m not bold enough to predict a changing of the guard in three of the top four major European leagues. 

UEFA Champions League winners: At some point PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN are finally going to get it right and I’ll keep backing them until they finally do. We’re entering into year four of me being stubborn about this.
UEFA Europa League winners: So, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR need to win a trophy and their manager is who exactly? Dare I say it’s all or nothing in Europe’s second tier.

Signing of the season: I can’t decide between RODRIGO at Leeds United and JAMES RODRIGUEZ at Everton. I’ll go heart over head and say James.

My team, Rangers, will… get the job done and finally win Scottish title number 55. Not only is it a must in 2021 to halt ten-in-a-row, it needs to be achieved while this particularly talented and somewhat expensive squad is still intact. Lest I give up on football and start following Kabaddi.

Mark my words… injury issues will plague a number of teams, not just in England, but all around Europe. We’ll see Mohamed Salah decelerate towards his Anfield exit as he wallows in the absence of dressing room bestie Dejan Lovren. There will be a 6-3 scoreline in the Premier League.

Is this the year neither FC Barcelona nor Real Madrid win La Liga?

Jamie White, Online Content & Social Media Producer

Premier League winners: MANCHESTER CITY
2nd – Manchester United 3rd – Liverpool 4th – Chelsea
Relegated: Fulham, West Browich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion
Golden Boot: Chelsea new boy TIMO WERNER will top the scoring charts in his debut season in England.

Serie A winners: JUVENTUS get it done once again.
La Liga winners: ATLETICO MADRID upset the odds to displace the top two.
Bundesliga winners: There’s no question that it’ll be BAYERN MUNICH.

UEFA Champions League winners: Instead of focussing on the Premier League, which was finally won last season, LIVERPOOL win big in Europe.
UEFA Europa League winners: Them again: I’m going with UEFA Europa League specialists SEVILLA.

Signing of the season: Having spent quite a lot time watching AFC Bournemouth I can tell you Nathan Ake is a terrific player and a superb signing for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. Timo Werner will also prove value for money.

My team, Liverpool, will… not be nearly as consistent in the Premier League but will instead focus on the UEFA Champions League.

Mark my words… null and void is coming. Another major breakout of Covid-19 will bring an early end to the season.


So, that’s what we think will go down during this season’s campaign. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

For our full range of Premier League signed products check out icons.com now!



Press Release: Icons Completes Management Buyout

The Directors of Icons have bought the majority stake back from Marka PJSC and now have full control of the company.


London, 4 August 2020 – Icons Shop Limited, the UK-based signed memorabilia company, today announced that it had bought back the majority stake previously owned by  Marka PJSC. Marka acquired a 65% share in 2015. 

The investment enabled Icons to create the largest football-focussed memorabilia company in the world, predominantly through the purchase of the assets of then rival A1.

Icons was awarded the first ever football memorabilia licence by FIFA in 2010 to produce a range of signed FIFA World Cup products. In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever licence for the UEFA Champions League and in 2016 the first ever license for the UEFA European Championships. All three deals have subsequently been renewed.

Icons are pleased to announce that they have entered into contractual arrangements with all-time great Diego Maradona to undertake signings and social promotion for the company.

Icons are also pleased to announce a three-year worldwide exclusive memorabilia licence with FC Barcelona, the first such deal of its kind in the world.

Dan Jamieson, CEO of Icons said: “Icons is the world’s leading football memorabilia company and the most trusted operation in the game.

“By returning the shares to the original team we are free to pursue our ambitious plans for growth and to continue to lead the market with the most iconic products of all-time.”

Edward Freedman, founder and now Chairman of Icons, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with the Marka team but now the time is right to take back control and press forward.”


For more information please contact Icons CEO, Dan Jamieson, via [email protected].



Introducing… Giveback Giveaways

There are lots of things we love about creating the world’s best signed memorabilia. But among the very best of those things is when we hear from our customers about how we made their day, their month or their year.

It’s better still when we’re told we brought unbridled happiness to a child’s face, reduced a parent to tears of joy or, quite simply, when we’ve made another birthday extra special. It’s why we do what we do.

At Icons we were thinking about what we could do in these uncertain times to bring more joy to the world. That’s when I remembered a phrase I like to use and one I try to live by: “choose generosity.”

So, this week we’re launching Giveback Giveaways across both Icons.com and A1 Sporting Memorabilia with the kind help of some of our closest partners, suppliers and friends.

We were thinking about what we could do to bring more joy to the world. That’s when I remembered… “choose generosity.”

All throughout this week we’ll be asking our fans and followers to nominate someone deserving to receive something special from us in the hope that it will bring them joy in these difficult times.

With a warehouse full of amazing products, continued worldwide distribution, and a little extra time on our hands, we figured we could put our efforts into getting gifts out to people across the UK and around the world. We’ll gather ten prizes across the two sites each week and, via social media, try to find the heroes who deserve them.

Why not nominate a nurse or a doctor working all hours; self-isolating grandparents stuck indoors; or a sports-loving child bored with no-one to play with.

We have signed shirts, photos and boots to giveaway, plus unsigned shirts, trophies, posters and footballs. With the help of our friends and colleagues at DHL International we can still get these great prizes out to all four corners of the globe.

One of our company mottos is that “we believe in heroes” and while that usually means the icons of sport we work with, right now it’s the people on the frontline of this global crisis. They need our support the most in these trying times so we’re asking you to help us find them.

Stay safe, take care, look after your own team and, once again, we thank you for your ongoing support.


For more information about how possible restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak may affect ordering from Icons.com, please contact Customer Support via [email protected].

Follow Icons on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all our latest blog posts, special offers and competitions.



From Our CEO: Business As Usual

Here at Icons.com, we wanted to provide an update for all our customers, suppliers and friends in sport. In particular we’d like to assure everyone that for the time being we are still operating business as usual – but, of course, there are a few changes.

We are still taking orders 24/7 from all around the world and dispatching said orders to 3-4 working day(s) timeframe. To allow this to continue, while adhering to the all the safe-working practices and protocols recommended to us by the UK government, we have closed our headquarters in London. Our distribution facility in Dorset is, at the time of writing, unaffected. 

We care deeply about the safety and wellbeing of our staff and all those around us. So we will continue to keenly monitor the ongoing developments and take every precaution as necessary.

We dispatch using DHL and their world class international shipping service and, as such, we’re able to continue to send out orders to all four corners of the world on a daily basis with no problems.

While the football season is suspended, we’ve decided to reach out to our friends and partners across the wider football community to give away some of our iconic products – hopefully bringing cheer to some lucky winners in these uncertain times. Look out for promotions, competitions and giveaways over the coming weeks. We’re very excited about what we have planned. 

Stay safe, take care, look after your own team and thank you for your ongoing support.


For more information about how possible restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak may affect ordering from Icons.com, please contact Customer Support via [email protected].

Follow Icons on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all our latest blog posts, special offers and competitions.



CLOSED | WIN A Trent Alexander-Arnold Signed Boot!

**PLEASE NOTE: This competition is now closed and a winner has been chosen.**

Liverpool and England star Trent Alexander-Arnold is giving away a signed boot from recent signing session with Icons.com on his official Instagram page!

Alexander-Arnold put pen to product behind closed doors at a session in Liverpool on February 10th and now he’s giving you a chance to win a New Balance boot signed on that day.

Best of all, it could not be simpler to enter this great giveaway! Simply follow the steps below and you’ll be in with a shout of taking home this brilliant prize.

ENTER VIA INSTAGRAM:

1) Head to Trent’s official Instagram account and find the competition post.

2) Comment on THIS POST, tag a friend who you think deserves to win the boot, and explain why.

The prize is 1 x Trent Alexander-Arnold Signed Red Under Armour Boot (Icons.com SKU ICTAAB1), which comes complete with an official Icons.com Certificate of Authenticity. The COA shows Trent with the boot in question as well as providing the date and location at which the boot was signed – so you can be sure this is the real deal! For more information, check out the boot on Icons.com.

A fans’ favourite, 21-year-old Liverpool star Trent Alexander Arnold has been on a seemingly unstoppable rise ever since he broke through at Anfield and his range of authentic signed items feature in Icons’ flagship memorabilia ranges: our official UEFA Champions League range and official UEFA EURO 2020 memorabilia range.


TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. The Promoter of this prize draw is Icons Shop Limited (registered in England under company number 06791294 and with its registered office at Unit 7, Airfield Industrial Estate, Airfield Way, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 3PE) (the “Promoter”).
  2. The Promoter is offering those who enter this promotion a chance to win a Trent Alexander-Arnold Signed Red Under Armour Boot (Icons.com SKU ICTAAB1).
  3. Multiple entries per person are permitted. Entries will be accepted on Instagram only, provided they fit the entry criteria outlined in these terms and conditions. However, entries submitted on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed. Incomplete, illegible, misdirected or late entries will not be accepted.
  4. To enter this prize draw on Instagram, entrants must “tag” a friend to the official Instagram page of Trent Alexander-Arnold (instagram.com/trentarnold66) and comment with reason why the tagged friend should win the prize.
  5. The winner will be selected by Trent Alexander-Arnold or an elected person on his behalf.
  6. No purchase is necessary to enter this promotion, however internet access is required.
  7. Only one winner will be drawn. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-exchangeable and there is no cash alternative offered.
  8. The Promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value. In the event of unforeseen circumstances or circumstances outside its reasonable control, the Promoter reserves the right to modify or discontinue this promotion without prior notice, be it temporarily or permanently.
  9. The winner will be selected from all valid entries received during the promotional period. The draw will take place no later than seven days following the end of the promotional period.
  10. The winner will be notified within five days of the draw via the social network platform on which they entered the competition. They will be asked to provide a postal address to which the prize will be sent. If the winner fails to respond and/or to give a valid address within 5 days of this notification, or declines their prize, a redraw will take place from the remaining valid entries to select a new winner (however, this five-day period may be extended at the Promoter’s sole discretion). If the winner declines their prize, or fails to respond within the required period, they forfeit any right to the prize.
  11. The prize will be sent via post to the address supplied within two weeks following provision of the winner’s address in accordance with the T&Cs.
  12. The name and county of residence of the winners will be made available on request to anyone sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Promoter as the address set out above within 10 weeks of the closing date of the promotion.
  13. The Promoter does not accept responsibility for network, computer or software failures of any kind and has no responsibility for lost, delayed or misdirected entries.
  14. The Promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries the Promoter in its sole discretion considers to be inappropriate, unrelated or offensive and to disqualify any entries if the Promoter, at its sole discretion, believes that there has been an attempt to manipulate or tamper with the operation of the promotion (including, without limitation, by setting up multiple email, Facebook or other social media accounts in order to submit multiple entries).
  15. By entering this competition you agree that the promoter may store and use the data you enter into this competition and contact you. You agree that the promoter may store and use any image and/or comment you post as your entry for this competition, and may use your name and competition entry in its social media channels and website (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and icons.com), worldwide and without limit of time. You understand that you won’t have any right to preview or pre-approve the content (and, that you won’t be entitled to any kind of payment) in the event that it is used by Icons as noted above.
  16. Except for the purpose of carrying out the promotion, the Promoter will not use entrants’ personal data without the express consent of the entrant. See http://www.icons.com/about/help/privacy-policy.html for our full privacy policy.
  17. You agree to be bound by the decisions of the Promoter, which are final in all matters relating to the promotion. No correspondence will be entered into in respect of the Promoter’s decisions.
  18. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed exclusively in accordance with the laws of England and the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England, including the seeking of all injunctive or ancillary relief actions.

Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Trent Alexander-Arnold signed items by visiting Icons.com today…

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THE INSIDER: Memorabilia Is A Rookie’s Game

Here at Icons.com, we make a point to not only sign with the biggest superstars on the planet but to select the cream of the crop from the next generation as well, writes Sales Manager, Ben Soley.

After all, a lot can change in a year. Over the last 12 months, France displaced Germany as world champions, Luka Modric became the first man in 11 years to dethrone Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the World Player of the Year, and Liverpool qualified for a UEFA Champions League final… okay, so maybe not everything changes.

If you’re Callum Hudson-Odoi, the last year has seen you promoted to Chelsea’s first team; make your debut; start matches in the UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and Premier League, getting an assist on each debut; be constantly linked with a move to European behemoth Bayern Munich; and get your first senior England cap. Not forgetting, of-course, becoming an Icon.

It’s almost a year to the day that Callum became an Icon, conducting his first signing with us in London on May 14th, 2018. Since then his rise has been as rapid as he is. Indeed, his four goals in nine UEFA Europa League appearances puts him among the top scorers for the competition and is a clear indication of his undoubted quality. Over the same period, Hudson-Odoi has outsold traditional bestsellers on our website. Items signed by the Chelsea and England starlet have sold quicker and in more quantities than memorabilia signed by Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and many more established stars.

We’re regularly asked how we pick and choose who we sign for Icons.com. Hudson-Odoi’s talent is not questioned but of all the talented youngsters out there, we opted for Callum because he hit a sweet spot for us.

Firstly, he plays for a top-six team with a solid international fan base. Chelsea fans have been crying out for young talent to break through at their club so Callum‘s rise presented us with the chance to provide that considerable supporter base with a name they are interested in. Our exclusive contract with Eden Hazard also means we have a strong database of Chelsea fans to target. He also fits in well with our licenses – as an Adidas player we can include Callum‘s signed boots in our Official UEFA Europa League (an Adidas-sponsored tournament) range. As a member of the England setup, we can add his products to our Official England Licensed Memorabilia range. Finally, Callum has a social media presence and can promote his signing with Icons to help us sell his products.

In baseball, rookie trading cards are often valued higher based on the limit to supply – the player’s first year being the only year for which the athlete is considered a rookie. Babe Ruth’s 1916 rookie card sold for $717,000 at auction in 2016, in the same year ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson’s rookie card sold for $667,149. Mickey Mantle, another great of the game, has a rookie card from 1951 which is now worth a staggering $750,000.

But why? Many athletes’ rookie year isn’t spectacularly successful. An athlete’s appearance may also radically change and their rookie year look is rarely how they are best remembered. Perhaps this the point. For many collectors it boils down to the bragging rights, the idea that you can claim that you were there first, you saw that athlete’s potential earlier than anyone else and you saw something special in them from the off.

Then, of course, there is the financial benefit. It’s a textbook example of buying low and selling high. Last month, I wrote about women’s football and the importance of getting on board early as it explodes in popularity. This is much the same. In order to yield the biggest returns, you must get the item at its lowest cost value, and that is best done at the start before an athlete has achieved greatness in the eyes of everyone else.

Which brings us back to Icons and Callum Hudson-Odoi. To the untrained eye, it may look like we got lucky with Hudson-Odoi. But Icons have a proven track-record of finding stars among the youth. Sergio Aguero first signed for us while he was plying his trade at Atletico Madrid; Gareth Bale was still at Spurs when he signed for us first; Neymar Jr was at Santos. And then there’s the small matter of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, signed by Icons at 18 and 19-years-old respectively. Icons are in fact Messi’s longest serving commercial partner – longer even than Adidas.

You see, it’s one thing to get ahead in business, but to stay ahead you must look to the future. Admittedly, it’s not without its risks. But those risks are minimised by our staff’s extensive knowledge of sport and our acute sense of what will sell and what won’t.

I’ll leave you with this. Ajax‘s former head of talent development Ruben Jongkind recently told the following story: “When FC Barcelona were so good and so dominant seven or eight years ago, I was walking with [Johan] Cruyff on the training ground at La Masia. He told me: ‘Everybody is looking at the first team and I am looking at the academy. Things are not right and they have to change.'”

We have the same mentality here at Icons.com. We never rest on our laurels and we are always looking to the future for the next set of superstars and Ballon d’Or winners.

We don’t just sign the Icons, we scout them too.



From Our CEO: All Of Us Are Fans At Heart

I was born and raised in Liverpool and have been a massive fan of Liverpool FC since before I can remember. I grew up in the city when Liverpool and Everton were the two best teams in the country – if not Europe – and I remember not bothering to go to the open-top bus parades if we had ‘only’ won the league. Things aren’t quite the same nowadays.

Last Tuesday I was back in the city for the first leg of our UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against FC Porto. Quite unlike my unfortunately rare childhood visits to the ground, I was there last week as a guest of UEFA.

Icons have been an official UEFA’s licensed partner for memorabilia for seven years now and it’s the most successful licence we have. With our unrivalled roster of European superstars, we created an official UEFA Champions League range which is sold all around the world. Most recently we had a large order from MasterCard, who are using our signed memorabilia to promote their sponsorship of the tournament in Singapore and Thailand.

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YNWA – spinetingler

A post shared by Dan Jamieson (@icons_ceo) on

Our licensing manager, Ben, is also a big Liverpool fan. So, he and I take full advantage whenever we are invited to watch the Reds by our friends at UEFA. I was at last season’s quarter-final as Liverpool beat Manchester City and I was there for our epic UEFA Europa League semi-final triumph over Villarreal in 2016. I’ve seen some pretty huge Jurgen Klopp-inspired victories over these past few years!

Point is, here at Icons we are all huge football fans at heart. I grew up very rarely being able to get into Anfield and now I have been lucky enough to go three years in a row. We wanted the UEFA Champions League licence because we love the competition and we thought we could bring something unique to the party. The same goes with our official FIFA licence, which we’ve had for nine years now.

We love our teams, our stars and the iconic nights under the lights. It’s what football is all about and it’s exactly why we do what we do: always aiming to bring other fans closer to their heroes.


See the full range of Official UEFA Champions League signed memorabilia by clicking here.

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THE INSIDER: The Rise and Rise of Women’s Football

What a fortnight it has been for women’s football, writes Icons.com Sales Manager, Ben Soley. Amid the feverish anticipation for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, club-level attendance records were broken and investment in the sport continued to reach new heights both on and off the pitch.

It is becoming increasingly evident that women’s football has a huge potential for rapid and wide-ranging growth, as well as the ability to become a very lucrative industry in its own right. And, as with any industry exhibiting these trends, now appears to be as good a time as any to climb aboard the bandwagon and invest in an area of sport experiencing an explosion in popularity.

Two Sundays ago saw perhaps the most prominent and staggering example of how far the women’s game has progressed. At Atletico Madrid’s new home – the setting of this year’s men’s UEFA Champions League final – a world record was set for the highest attendance (60,739) at a women’s club game.

To put that into context, there were over 7,000 more fans were in attendance for the women’s game in Madrid than were at the home of Real Betis, as Lionel Messi stunned the world with a magical hat-trick.

FC Barcelona Femení’s victory means Atletico’s lead at the top of the table is cut to three points with just six games to go. The evident enthusiasm for these fixtures only enhances the reputations of its stars, like Lieke Martens, a recent Icons signee.

While it might go without saying that more television viewers will have tuned in to watch Messi and company than Martens and her team, the numbers at the Wanda Metropolitano paint a very real picture of women’s football as it begins to benefit from larger platforms and more stable and respectable infrastructure.

On top of this, coverage of women’s football is vastly improving. The Telegraph this week launched a dedicated Women’s Sport supplement and a daily section in its printed publication. The initiative has been widely celebrated and has led to comments that echo Clare Balding’s affirmation that “the tide is turning”.

This all comes on the back of a commercially successful European Championship in 2017, which was watched by a record-setting cumulative TV audience of 178 million. Now it’s reported that another record has been broken as nine countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Japan and South Africa, have submitted formal bids to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The next step forward is clear. In order for these enterprises to become sustainable the women’s game still needs yet more funding from large corporations, the types behind the big-name brand sponsorships that power men’s sports.

Enter Barclays. A long-serving partner to the Premier League, Barclays last week penned a £10m sponsorship deal with the Women’s Super League (WSL), the top tier of women’s club football in England. The groundbreaking deal sets a precedent for other big-money deals in this country and around Europe. Beverage industry giants are also leading the way with prominent partnerships between Budweiser and the England Lionesses and Gatorade and Manchester City.

Here at Icons, we work closely with such blue chip partners, such as Mastercard, Pepsi and Heineken, helping them promote their sponsorships of tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League. Big name brands have the spending power to help support women’s football, to help it grow, but they are also understandably interested in a return on their investment.

It is clear now that there is rising interest in the women’s game, led by these visible and record-setting increases in gate numbers and TV viewing figures. What should follow, naturally, is increased investment from sponsors wanting to get in early and capitalise on the sport’s growth.

Earlier this year, we met with The Football Association to discuss the Official England Licensed Memorabilia range and licence. We agreed there were huge positives to take away from the Lionesses’ success at the recent European Championships and that the team has great potential. It’s a young, hungry and undeniably exciting team. Potential like this always has the ability to excite potential partners and sponsors on the lookout for areas of rapid growth where they can find a speedy return on investment.  

A World Cup year is a crucial time for any sport, but especially affects one that so often experiences scepticism from outsiders. With women’s football on a remarkable and culturally-important rise in the build-up to this summer’s tournament in France, clubs, brands and media outlets are actively increasing their involvement in various ways.

We can see the potential the sport has – that’s why we signed with one of its brightest stars earlier this year. Perhaps now it is time for more brands and corporations to sit up and pay attention.


See the full range of Lieke Martens signed memorabilia by clicking here.

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