From Our CEO: Adding To An Iconic List of Ballon d’Or Winners

What do George Weah, Jean-Pierre Papin, Andriy Shevchenko, Matthias Sammer and Hristo Stoichkov have in common? Of course, it’s pretty well-known that they are all past Ballon d’Or winners. But the few names on this short list share something else, too. These are the only five names from the past three decades who’ve won the Ballon d’Or but aren’t Icons… yet.

Every other former winner of football’s most coveted individual prize has undertaken a signing session for Icons, from Marco Van Basten to Ronaldo Nazario, Zinedine Zidane to Lionel Messi. And so, when mercurial midfielder Luka Modric won this year’s accolade, it was only a matter of time before he joined our roster. Well, it was 58 days, to be exact.

In fact, our recent signing with Luka also kept alive another impressive streak of ours: we can now say that we have worked with the winners of the award from each of the past fourteen seasons.

Luka was delighted to join the list and even allowed our signing team to hold the actual Ballon d’Or award that he has at home on his mantelpiece in Madrid. ‘Signed By The World’s Best’ indeed!

So, how do we get to these players? Well, to be frank, it’s a combination of judgement and luck. We first worked with Messi, for example, when he was just 17-years-old. The year was 2006 and we had been tipped off about this new sensation in Barcelona by our man on the ground in Spain. I could write for days with similar stories. We met Cristiano Ronaldo as he arrived in Manchester. Kaka had been an Icon for a number of years before he won a Ballon d’Or. We even saw a 19-year-old Neymar Jr playing in Sao Paolo – that was 2013 and we were sat next to Kaka’s father. It was Ronaldo Nazario who had let us know that this guy might be a future Ballon d’Or winner. Neymar Jr hasn’t won it yet, of course, but we’re playing the long-game.

We like to think we can spot talent and it was great to see our first Icon of the Future, Callum Hudson-Odoi, who signed for Icons back in May 2018, selling more items during our January Sale than many of the biggest names in the sport. It shows we might be on to something with the Chelsea starlet. Maybe he too will have something shiny on his mantelpiece in a decade’s time…

I always say that as a kid I collected football stickers but nowadays I collect footballers. So come on, George, Jean-Pierre, Andriy, Matthias and Hristo – it’s time to get in touch and join the world’s most truly iconic club.


See the full range of all-new Luka Modric signed memorabilia by clicking here.

See our unrivalled collection of memorabilia signed by nominees and winners of the Ballon d’Or by clicking here.

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



CLOSED | WIN a Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar Jr signed plaque and photo frame!


It’s giveaway time! To celebrate the joint birthday of two of our favourite Icons, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, we’re offering you the chance to win a signed plaque and photo frame from one of these two legends of the modern game. ‘Sounds good but how do I enter?’ I hear you ask?

Well, as ever, it could not be simpler. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

  1. Subscribe to the Icons.com email newsletter via this handy little link
  2. Update your preferences and tell us who your favourite player or players are

When the competition closes on Friday February 8th at 12pm GMT we’ll be taking every name on our subscriber list, grabbing all the good folk who’ve updated their preferences, and drawing two lucky winners from the whole lot. So, make sure you’re in before midday Friday!

Good luck everyone!


(Now, for the boring bit…) 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 65 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LS) (the “Promoter”).
    2. The Promoter is offering those who enter this promotion a chance to win either a Cristiano Ronaldo Signed Plaque and Juventus Photo Frame OR a Neymar Jr Signed Plaque and Paris Saint-Germain Photo Frame. Valid entrants will only be eligible to win one of the two prizes on offer.
    3. Entrants must be aged 14 years or over. This promotion is not open to any employees of the Promoter or any of their affiliate companies, their families, agents or anyone else connected with this prize draw.
    4. Multiple entries per person are not permitted. Entries will only be accepted provided they fit the entry criteria outlined in these terms and conditions (paragraph 5). 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.
    5. To enter this prize draw entrants must be subscribed to the official Icons.com Newsletter (icons.com/newsletter) and must have either “Cristiano Ronaldo”, “Cristiano”, “CR7”, “Ronaldo”, “Neymar” or “Neymar Jr” in the Favourite Players field of their subscriber preferences.
    6. No purchase is necessary to enter this promotion, however internet access is required.
    7. The promotion is open to entries until 12pm GMT on 8th February 2019 (the “promotional period”).
    8. Only one winner per prize will be drawn. The prizes are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-exchangeable and there is no cash alternative offered.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. The winner will be notified within five days of the draw via the email address with 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 five 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.
    12. The prize will be sent via post to the address supplied within two weeks following provision of the winner’s address in accordance with paragraph 13.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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).
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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 Dele signed items by visiting Icons.com today…

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



CLOSED | WIN a framed Belgium shirt signed by Eden Hazard!

It’s giveaway time once again! That’s right, we’ve teamed up once again with the one-and-only Eden Hazard for another amazing competition that’s not to be missed! Our last competition with the Chelsea star had tens of thousands of entrants so this time we’re offering you the chance to win an official FIFA World Cup framed Belgium shirt signed by the man himself…

Icons has an exclusive signing contract with the Belgian attacking ace, meaning Icons.com is the only place to get authentic Hazard signed memorabilia. But now we’re giving a shirt away for nothing!

It could not be simpler to enter this great giveaway and you can throw your hat in the ring as many times as you like. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be in with a shout of taking home this stunning prize.

TO ENTER VIA INSTAGRAM:

1) Follow BOTH Eden Hazard’s official account AND Icons’ official account

2) Comment on THIS post from Eden

This competition will close at midnight on Tuesday November 20th 2018 and a winner will be announced in the following days – so make sure to get your entry in before it’s too late!

The framed shirt, measuring 34inches (H) x 30inches (W) x 1.5inches (D), comes complete with an official FIFA World Cup Certificate of Authenticity. The COA shows Eden with the shirt in question as well as providing the date and location at which the shirt was signed – so you can be sure this is the real deal! For more information, check out the shirt on Icons.com.

A fans’ favourite, 27-year-old Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard was a big star at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as his nation finished third and his range of authentic signed items features in Icons’ flagship memorabilia ranges: our official UEFA Champions League range and official FIFA World Cup collection.

For more information on our exclusive deal with Hazard, click here.


Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Eden Hazard signed items by visiting Icons.com today…

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



CLOSED | WIN two VIP tickets to Eric Cantona live at the Apollo!

Ever wanted to meet Eric Cantona, football’s King of Cool? Silly question, right? Of course you have. Well, now’s your chance to do just that with our amazing new giveaway.

Head over to our official Instagram page, drop our account a follow and tag a friend on our latest post for your chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the opening night of Eric Cantona’s upcoming A1 Sporting Speakers tour. Meet the man himself before show then sit back and enjoy his unique genius as he opens up about his extraordinary life in football and beyond.

Cantona is known not just for his legendary achievements on the pitch – and adept acting on screen – but also his timely utterances. He always has something to say and, on stage, he rarely disappoints.

At this superb event at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on Wednesday October 24th, Eric will discuss his favourite players, why he retired at the peak of his career, and what it was about Manchester that he loved so much. He’ll also talk about what it was like making the Ken Loach movie Looking For Eric. The show includes a supporting act and charity auction, offering you a chance to buy great signed items in support of Eric’s chosen charity. For more information on the event, click here.

Entrants must be 18 or over. Travel and accommodation for the event will not be provided. For further terms and conditions, please see below.

Can’t make it to London for Wednesday’s show? Not to worry! Eric’s tour is coming to Manchester, Belfast and Dublin. Check out our website for more information on VIP and VVIP ticket packages for each show.


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 65 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LS) (the “Promoter”).
  2. The Promoter is offering those who enter this promotion a chance to win two VIP tickets to Eric Cantona: The Return of the King at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in London at 6.30pm on Wednesday October 24th, 2018.
  3. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over. This promotion is not open to any employees of the Promoter or any of their affiliate companies, their families, agents or anyone else connected with this prize draw.
  4. 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 (paragraph 5). 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.
  5. To enter this prize draw on Instagram, entrants must “Follow” the official Instagram page Icons Shop Limited (instagram.com/icons_memorabilia) as well as commenting on the competition post, which can be found here.
  6. No purchase is necessary to enter this promotion, however internet access is required.
  7. The promotion is open to entries until 3pm GMT on Tuesday October 23nd, 2018 (the “promotional period”).
  8. Only one winner will be drawn. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-exchangeable and there is no cash alternative offered.
  9. 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.
  10. The winner will be selected from all valid entries received during the promotional period. The draw will take place no later than 24 hours following the end of the promotional period.
  11. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the draw via the social network platform on which they entered the competition. They will be asked to provide a contact number with which the Promoter will arrange delivery of the tickets. If the winner fails to respond and/or to give a valid address within six hours of this notification, or declines their prize, a redraw will take place from the remaining valid entries to select a new winner (however, this 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. 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 icons.com/about/help/privacy-policy.html for our full privacy policy.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.


From Our CEO: Experience The World’s Best with Icons XP

One of the pivotal moments of my life happened in Barcelona. It was 2001 and I was drinking cheap cava in a hillside terrace bar overlooking the city. Dusk fell and the cityscape turned sparkly. I had a job I hated for a dotcom startup in London and I was on a football tour in the Catalan capital.

“Why don’t I just quit my job and come and live here? It’s got sun, sand and sexy football – what more could you want?” I asked.

Five months later I’d left everything behind to move to Barcelona to play, watch and teach people how to talk about football. Some of my friends were incredulous. They said: “You’re just going out there for the experience. Why would you do that?”

Fast forward to 2018. I’m reading an article written by the founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky. He’s talks about how his company have been able to create a trust platform, unlocking the spaces left vacant in people’s spare rooms and empty houses. Their next step, he explains is to create 100 million entrepreneurs, unlocking the potential not of spaces but of people. “We’re creating Airbnb experiences where people all over the world offer their talents, skills and knowledge to others to buy as they travel. Hidden city tours, salsa classes, art history lessons, Airbnb can use its trust platform to put consumers together with suppliers,” Chesky says.

Now, what that got to do with memorabilia?

Well, firstly, if we can bring memorabilia together with memories, we are tapping into what Generation XP want more than anything: stories to tell. At Icons, we have access to the world’s biggest superstar footballers and we can get to the world’s greatest sporting events. Hey, it’s why I do what I do.

So, this month we’re launching Icons XP with the tagline ‘Experience The World’s Best’. As with lots of these ideas, we start in Barcelona. Icons now have a private corporate box at Camp Nou. If you love Leo Messi, you can now buy Experience Memorabilia package from Icons.com and be our guests at his next game to see him play in the flesh. We were in the box for the Joan Gamper Trophy earlier in the year and the little magician we love so much scored right in front of us. Imagine watching El Clasico or a UEFA Champions League semi-final and seeing Leo, Luis Suarez or Philippe Coutinho doing something truly iconic? Maybe we can even get them to pop into the box after the match to say hello… we’re working on it.

Now wouldn’t that would be an iconic experience?

While it starts with Barcelona it most certainly does not end there. Icons are co-promoting a speaker tour that brings Manchester United legend Eric Cantona to London, Manchester and Ireland throughout October. Icons founder Edward Freedman worked with Eric at United and, in fact, Cantona was the first player he got to sign shirts, making him the very first on a long and ever expanding list of Icons. For Eric’s tour, Icons XP is offering VIP and VVIP tickets that allows fans to come backstage to meet Eric himself. When we did this two years ago a grown man fainted upon meeting Le God. That’s what it means to our customers.

Memories plus memorabilia. That has a nice ring to it, I think.

If we can bring fans closer to their heroes through events, tickets, boxes or meets and greets, we will. Our roster comprises the biggest names in sport and we have a reputation for running the best competitions and giveaways for money-can’t-buy prizes. If The FC Barcelona Experience and Eric Cantona Live work, we’ll expand, offering more and more experiences to our customers. Maybe we can even put together those experiences in cities around the world with Airbnb’s local experts. A Diego Maradona tour around Boca in Buenos Aires, for example. Maybe a Steven Gerrard framed memento from a trip to Anfield or a native New Yorker talking you through the iconic nights of Madison Square Gardens.

Icons XP is a new way to get closer to your heroes. And we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to you. See you in Barcelona soon.


  • FC Barcelona Experience Memorabilia packages are available for matches throughout FC Barcelona’s 2018/19 campaign, including the world-famous El Clasico derby plus crucial La Liga clashes, thrilling Copa Del Rey ties and, of course, those epic UEFA Champions League nights. Contact [email protected] for prices, match availability and further information.
  • Eric Cantona kicks off his UK speaker tour on October 24th with a show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. VIP and VVIP tickets are available for all dates. Click here for more information.


Press Release: We’re pioneering blockchain tech in the fight against fakes

  • Market leader Icons worked with digital agency Zone to launch blockchain application
  • Revolutionary tech will enhance consumer trust by tracking the provenance of signed items
  • App will also be used in the fight against fakes and frauds
  • Leo Messi signed shirts among the first items to be ‘b-locked’

London, 18 September 2018 The world’s largest football memorabilia company has become the first application of a pioneering blockchain solution that underpins the value of signed items with the aim of securing consumer trust.

Icons, the world’s leading originator and supplier of signed football memorabilia, has joined with digital experts Zone to create Icons b-locked, an online ledger that tracks the provenance of signed items.

The first items to be used in the Icons b-locked application will be shirts autographed by Lionel Messi during a private signing session with the FC Barcelona superstar in mid-September.

Icons b-locked uses blockchain – the distributed ledger technology that sits behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – to create a permanent record of signed items, including details of when and where each item was signed.

Consumers use a unique code assigned to their product to view specific details of the item and its associated signing.

The technology comes at a time when the sports memorabilia market, estimated to be worth $2-4billion, is under threat from the rise of fraudsters manipulating online auction websites, as well as the emergence of automated robots capable of replicating signatures for fake products.

Icons CEO, Dan Jamieson, says: “At Icons, we’ve always gone to extraordinary lengths to provide evidence of the authenticity of our goods – not only for our customers but also for the integrity of the market.

“Every day we’re asked if our products are really signed by the players themselves. Consumers need more reassurance than ever. That’s why we’ve worked with Zone to create this world-first product. We want this to be the gold standard which ultimately helps the market grow.”

Edward Freedman, Icons founder, added: “I truly believe that Icons b-locked will put to rest the question of authenticity. It will revolutionise our industry and hopefully it will take us to a level that everyone will be aspiring to.”

Icons has been working with the world’s biggest sports stars since 1999 and has entered into exclusive contracts with the likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Eden Hazard.

The company has long-term relationships with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr and Eric Cantona, among many others. It has had the exclusive official UEFA Champions League memorabilia license for the past six seasons and the worldwide deal was recently renewed for the 2018-21 cycle. Icons also has official memorabilia licences for the FIFA World Cup and FA England.

Jon Davie, Chief Client Officer at Zone, commented: “For all the hype about blockchain, practical applications so far have been few and far between.

“Working with Icons, we had an opportunity to create a blockchain application that ordinary customers can experience, understand and benefit from. The opportunities are endless. Not just in the sports memorabilia market, but in art, antiques, collectables – any market where establishing authenticity and tracking provenance is important.”

For more information please contact Icons CEO Dan Jamieson ([email protected] or +44 20 7267 3934).

Stay up-to-date with Icons b-locked by joining us on Telegram. Click here to join our channel.


About Zone

One of the UK’s leading technology and customer experience agencies, Zone is part of global professional services giant Cognizant, who acquired the agency in October last year.

Recently hailed by the London Stock Exchange as one of the UK’s most inspiring companies, the agency’s 250+ strategy, content and technology experts helps ambitious brands such as Adidas, BMW, Aviva, Barratt Homes, Electrolux, Lloyds Banking Group, Maersk and Unileverwin in a world where digital is mission critical.



Take a tour of our brand new warehouse and operations centre!

Honesty and transparency are at the heart of everything Icons does. It’s in every decision we make and every item we sell.

On our twenty-year quest for truth, which has led us now to the exciting world of cutting-edge blockchain technology, our aim has always been to be as open as possible.Which is exactly why we want to take you inside the ropes at our brand new operations centre. Take the tour with our CEO, Dan Jamieson, and learn more about why we do what we do.



From Our CEO: Introducing… Icons b-locked

Last night, I sat down with my wife and talked her through my day over dinner. I had just spent it briefing our team about a brand new project of ours called Icons b-locked.

Icons b-locked is a new service that will forever change the way signed memorabilia is authenticated. It uses state-of-the-art blockchain technology to make the creation, validation and selling of signed items 100% verifiable in a quick, simple and easy way.

I had wanted to explain this to our team in depth, giving them an idea of the vision and the technology behind the project. I wanted to make the talk accessible and understandable while explaining how this brand new blockchain solution is going to help us fight the good fight against the frauds who sell faked ‘memorabilia’ to an unsuspecting public. Now, I was repeating that talk for my wife.

But as I did so, I found myself getting annoyed as I spoke of so-called ‘competitors’ ripping off our images, stealing our copy and even using robots to fake signatures. After a few minutes, my wife said: “This is all very negative. I thought you do what you do because you believe in heroes?”

My wife has worked in communications in the charity sector for years and she says that in the past a popular fundraising technique was to showcase problems and issues that tug at the heart strings. But donations started to dry up as compassion fatigue set in with a desensitised public. And it’s because of this fatigue that charities and NGOs now focus on hopes, dreams and aspirations. Icons should follow suit, my wife suggested.

Take the latest Barnardo’s campaign, for example. It doesn’t show miserable kids being taken into care. Its focus is not to plead with the viewer to bring an end to an awful situation. Quite the opposite. It shows a young ballet dancer practicing over and over again in a dingy flat with the strap-line ‘Believe in me’. It says: this could be a great thing.

Hearing this, I realised I needed to refocus my message for Icons b-locked. At Icons, we do what we do because we believe in heroes. We love what we do. We get to meet the world’s best-known sportspeople. Through our products, we get to deliver joy and happiness to people around the world who are just like us. People who just want to get closer to their favourite icons.

We chose ‘Be authentic’ as our project strap-line because, not only do we feel it reflects our products and how we do business, but also because it reflects us as people. We turn up on time, we pay our bills and we do what we say we will. Believe me, that is far more unusual in the sports industry than you may think.

Which brings us to blockchain. Our use of blockchain technology is the latest application of our core belief that authenticity should be at the heart of everything we do. It’s why we decided to build the tech behind Icons b-locked to make this project a reality. We have faith in this new and exciting tool for truth and we leapt into its relative unknown because we believe in its possibilities. We believe in transparency; we believe in truth. And Icons b-locked is the next big step on our journey towards proving that beyond doubt.

“That sounds much better,” my wife said. “I buy into that.”


For more information on the Icons b-locked project, visit b-locked.icons.com and join us on Telegram.