Category: Announcements

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.



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.



WIN a framed shirt of your choice signed by a Premier League icon!

Calling all James Tarkowski fans! The Icons.com Fantasy Premier League public league is up and running and open for business!

That’s right, this season we have our very own FPL public league and we want you – yes, you – to join our ranks and battle it out for glory. “What’s at stake?” I hear you ask. Well, that’s the beauty of it…

If you top our league this season you’ll bag yourself a framed shirt signed by one of our Premier League icons. Be that an Eden Hazard signed Chelsea shirt, a Dele signed Spurs shirt or something a little more classic like an Eric Cantona signed Manchester United shirt – it’s your choice. If you win, we’ll invite you to look through our site, pick the Premier League shirt you want and we’ll frame it up and send it to you for absolutely nothing.

Ah, the spoils of victory…

But that’s not all! We’re also giving away prizes to the two runners-up in our league. Finish second and you win a signed boot, finish third and you’ll take home a signed photo.

So, if you haven’t already got a team sorted, get on it right away – gameweek one kicks off with Manchester United against Leicester City and the deadline for getting your team confirmed is Friday 7pm GMT.

Join the Icons.com public league with the code 754916-430005


TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. By registering to participate in the 2018/19 Fantasy Premier League (the “Game”) you agree to be bound by and to abide by the 2018/19 Fantasy Premier League terms and conditions as outlined under the “T&Cs” tab on the following webpage: https://fantasy.premierleague.com/help/
  2. Entry into the 2018/19 Fantasy Premier League public league named “Icons.com” under the league code 754916-430005 constitutes an acceptance of the following terms and conditions and subsequent entry into this competition.
  3. The Promoter of this competition 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”).
  4. Icons Shop Limited may choose to award prizes in respect of the competition (“Prizes”). Such Prizes will be available at the discretion of Icons Shop Limited and in accordance with criteria set by it. Icons Shop Limited reserves the right to alter and amend the Prizes or the criteria for winning a Prize, where circumstances beyond its reasonable control require it to do so.
  5. Prizes are not transferable and are non-exchangeable. No cash alternative will be offered in any circumstances.
  6. Subject to compliance with these terms and conditions, all entrants are eligible to win the Prizes. However, where an entrant is under the age of 18, they will not be eligible to win any cash element of a Prize (if applicable) and parental or guardian consent must be obtained. Such consent must include confirmation that the parent/guardian consented to the Player’s Entry to the Game and they consent to the Player being awarded a Prize.
  7. Icons Shop Limited intends (but does not undertake) for the following Prizes to be available:
  8. The first Prize (“Winner’s Prize”) will be awarded to the Player who, according to Icons Shop Limited’s determination, is at the end of the 2018/19 season top of the leaderboard of the Fantasy Premier League public league named “Icons.com” and under the code 754916-430005.
  9. The Winners’s Prize will be his or her choice of one shirt signed by a current or former England Premiership or Premier League player from Icons Shop Limited’s stock at the time of the end of the 2018/19 season. The shirt will be framed in an Icons’ Classic Frame.
  10. The second Prize (“Runner-up Prize”) will be awarded to the Player who according to Icons Shop Limited’s determination, is at the end of the 2018/19 season second on the leaderboard of the Fantasy Premier League public league named “Icons.com” and under the code 754916-430005.
  11. The Runner-up Prize will be his or her choice of one boot signed by a current or former England Premiership or Premier League player from Icons Shop Limited’s stock at the time of the end of the 2018/19 season. The boot will be displayed in an Icons’ Acrylic Case box.
  12. The third Prize (“Second Runner-up Prize”) will be awarded to the Player who according to Icons Shop Limited’s determination, is at the end of the 2018/19 season third on the leaderboard of the Fantasy Premier League public league named “Icons.com” and under the code 754916-430005.
  13. The third Prize will be his or her choice of one photo signed by a current or former England Premiership or Premier League player from Icons Shop Limited’s stock at the time of the end of the 2018/19 season. The photo will be displayed in an Icons’ Black Wooden Frame.
  14. The Promoter reserves the right to offer alternative prizes 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.
  15. The winner(s) will be notified within ten working days after the end of the competition. They will be asked to choose the prizes they wish to receive in accordance with paragraphs 9, 11 and 13. They will subsequently be asked to provide a postal address to which the prize will be sent. If the winner(s) fails to respond and/or to give a valid address within five days of this notification, or decline their prize, the next placed entry of the remaining valid entries will be declared the new winner(s) (however, this five-day period may be extended at the Promoter’s sole discretion). If the winner(s) decline(s) their prize, or fails to respond within the required period, they forfeit any right to the prize.
  16. The prizes will be sent via post to the addresses supplied within two weeks following provision of the winner(s’) address in accordance with paragraph 15.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. Except for the purpose of carrying out the competition, 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.


We’re On The Move! Icons Expands With New Warehouse Operation

Icons Shop Limited will next month expand its operational set-up with the opening of a brand new warehouse in Dorset.

As part of our ongoing commitment to bringing the world’s best signed memorabilia to fans all around the world, Icons.com is amalgamating a number of its operational processes along with sister brand A1 Sporting Memorabilia. The expansion will merge customer service, dispatch, shipping and framing functions to streamline our operation, bringing signed memorabilia to your door faster and more securely. We have also added to our ever-expanding team of passionate and experienced staff, who will oversee the transition at our new base and new London head office.

Please be aware that, due to the move, orders placed over the course of the next fortnight may experience slight delays to our standard delivery times. Most orders will be unaffected, however, for more information on your order, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support team from 9am – 5.30pm (GMT) by emailing [email protected], calling 020 3904 7600, or by messaging our official Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram pages.

New postal and invoice addresses will be communicated in due course.



Christmas Delivery Information & Opening Hours

We’re all familiar with the mad rush that engulfs the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. With all the frantic preparation, it’s easy to feel like you never have enough hours in the day. That’s why we like to be crystal clear about our dispatch and delivery dates over the festive period – to give you that extra peace of mind when ordering a special gift from Icons.com.

So, if you’re looking for our all-important delivery dates, opening hours and other important information, you’ve come to the right place. But if you can’t find the info you need or you have more questions about our Christmas schedule, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by giving us a ring on 0207 267 3934, by emailing [email protected] or speaking to our team via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

Christmas Delivery

Our offices and warehouse are closed on Saturdays and Sundays so orders placed between 5.30pm (GMT) on Fridays and 9am (GMT) on Mondays will not be processed until we reopen the following week. We always aim to dispatch within 1-2 working days.

This year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. The final day for delivery before Christmas to the UK, Europe and North America will be Saturday December 23rd. The final day for delivery before Christmas to the rest of the world (ROW) will be Friday December 22nd. Orders received after the dates outlined below have no guarantee of being delivered in time for Christmas. Orders placed after these dates will be processed once our offices and warehouse reopen on January 2nd, 2018.

Unframed and Pre-Framed Items (via FedEx)

UK, Europe & North America – To deliver for Dec 23rd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 21st

ROW – To deliver for Dec 22nd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 18th

Classic Framed Items (via DHL)

UK – To deliver for Dec 23rd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 18th

Europe, North America & ROW – To deliver for Dec 22nd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 14th

Standard, Licensed and Premium Framed Items (via FedEx)

UK, Europe & North America – To deliver for Dec 23rd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 13th

ROW – To deliver for Dec 23rd, orders must be placed no later than noon (GMT) on Dec 11th

*Please note* Dispatch is guaranteed, however, at this time of year, couriers may experience difficulties with bad weather and high work loads. Imports and duties are the responsibilities of the customer and can cause delays.

 

Icons Office and Warehouse Opening Hours

Up to (and including) Thursday December 21stMonday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm (GMT)

Friday December 22nd: 9am – 12pm (GMT)

From Saturday December 23rd up to (and including) Monday January 1stClosed

Tuesday January 2nd onwardsMonday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm (GMT)

 


For more information on our Christmas schedule, or to track your order, please get in contact with our Customer Support team by using the contact field below. Please note our offices are closed on weekends so messages submitted between Friday 5.30pm (GMT) and Monday 9am (GMT) may experience a longer response time.



Icons Shop Limited Shortlisted For A Sports Business Award

Icons Shop Limited is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted as a finalist in the category of Best Small Business Serving Sport at the Sports Business Awards 2017.

This past year, we celebrated working with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for over a decade. We also announced a brand new licence with The Football Association to produce Official England Licensed Memorabilia, further expanding our range of official licences with the world’s biggest organisations, events and brands, which already included the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA EURO 2016 and Official Messi Signed Merchandise.

In addition, Icons Shop Limited doubled turnover, experienced record sales for the busy Christmas and New Year period, expanded its staff and further strengthened its relationships with the world’s best footballers.

The Sports Business Awards celebrates “the vital influence of business within sport” and “recognises the organisations, teams and individuals who excel in a variety of business, CSR and sports governance disciplines.” The ceremony, which takes on June 2nd at The Brewery in London, will be attended by over 400 professionals from a variety of industries within the world of sport.

Also nominated in our category are All Sport Insurance, Beyond 90, Designwerk, FKPro, HRP Equestrian, ILG Business Ltd and Traveleads.

 

Click here to find out more about the Sports Business Awards. For the full list of finalists, click here.

For all our latest product news, behind the scenes content, giveaways and competitions, please follow Icons on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.



Icons Announce New Official FA England Memorabilia Licence

FA-Licence-Announcement

We are today proud to announce a brand new licence with The Football Association to provide Icons.com and The England Store with Official England Licensed Memorabilia.

Adding to official licences for FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA EURO 2016 and Lionel Messi signed products, we are delighted to bring together a brand new range of superb items signed by many of England’s finest ever players both past and present.

Many of the products in our brand new range mark the 50th anniversary of English football’s finest hour: the 1966 FIFA World Cup. We have signed items from the heroes of that legendary team; Sir Bobby Charlton, Jack Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks, Alan Ball, Martin Peters, Roger Hunt, George Cohen, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson. There are team signed shirts both framed and unframed, signed photos, posters, boots, balls and much more among our wide selection.

World Cup Final

Sir Bobby Charlton holds aloft The Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley Stadium on July 30th, 1966

Each and every product will come with an Official England Licensed Memorabilia Certificate of Authenticity which, where possible, gives details of when and where each item was signed. It’s proof that the product is 100% genuine and 100% official.

So, whether you’re feeling nostalgic about legendary achievements of England’s greatest ever players or excited for a new era of Three Lions football under Sam Allardyce, you’re bound to find an item you’ll treasure.

With exciting new products being added to both sites over the coming weeks and months, keep your eyes peeled for more Official England Licensed Memorabilia from the world’s best. The full range is coming to Icons.com soon but if you can’t wait, check out our products on The England Store today!

For more reasons to buy from Icons.com, visit our Why Buy From Us page.

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



Bid For Our Incredible Luis Suarez Signed and Match Worn Liverpool Shirt

Luis-Suarez-(Liverpool)

During his three-year stint at Liverpool, striker Luis Suarez proved to be one of the most electrifying talents to have ever graced the Premier League. Redmen the world over will remember the Uruguayan’s time at Anfield for his all-action approach to the number nine role; his exceptional array of unforgettable goals and performances; and his fierce devotion to the club. To this day, El Pistolero remains a Kop icon.

Why are we telling you this? Well, if you’re a Liverpool fan and you agree with all that, then we have an incredible opportunity for you. For the next three days, we at icons.com are running an auction exclusive to Facebook in which you can bid for a Luis Suarez signed and match worn Liverpool shirt.

That’s right, this shirt wasn’t just signed by the man himself, it was genuinely worn by him during a match, too. And not just any match, either. Suarez wore this particular shirt during Liverpool’s pulsating 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Anfield on April 13th, 2014.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League

Above: Luis Suarez celebrates as Liverpool score during their 3-2 win over Manchester City at Anfield on April 13th, 2014.

It was just one of several extra-special match worn shirts available to buy on icons.com but now it’s up for auction and you can place your bid right now on our official Facebook page.

The 2013-14 Premier League campaign was a memorable one for Liverpool fans, as Suarez and company made fans dream of the title but were cruelly denied over the final few hurdles. Despite the heartache, Redmen will remember a number of incredible matches during that exceptional season, and none more so than this excellent victory over eventual champions Manchester City.

Suarez was crucial that day, leading the line with a typically powerful performance that had the Manchester City back-line on edge throughout the game. Wearing their iconic red home kit with a special edition badge paying tribute to the 96 supporters who died at Hillsborough in 1989, Brendan Rodgers’ team dug deep to produce an emotional victory that few fans at a packed Anfield that day will soon forget.

Luis Suarez Liverpool Shirt

Above: Icons has a long-standing relationship with former Liverpool hero Luis Suarez. Here he signs a Liverpool shirt for us in 2011

Typifying our tremendous relationship with the striker, who has been signing with Icons for over six years now, Suarez later gifted us his shirt from that remarkable game and it could soon be yours.

All you have to do to be in with a shot of owning this amazing piece of sporting memorabilia is place your bid for the shirt on our dedicated Facebook Auction page. If your bid is above the minimum reserve price and it’s the highest of all the bids placed before Sunday March 6th, you’ll win the auction and become the new owner of this very special item.

So, what are you waiting for?

Head over to our Facebook page now and get yourself involved in the auction – which is hotting up with each new bid.

But if all that sounds like a bit too much excitement, you can always just head to icons.com and check out our Luis Suarez signed memorabilia range. We’ve got loads of awesome products available, ranging from signed Liverpool and Barcelona shirts and photos, to signed boots and balls.

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


Memorabilia signed by Luis Suarez