Tag: Sports Memorabilia

We Predict… The 2015-16 Season

 

It feels like an age since Chelsea lifted that Premier League trophy, bringing the 14-15 Premier League season to a close. It’s been a busy summer for almost every club but here we are, at that exciting stage again; the beginning of a new season! Who will emerge as champions? Which signings will prosper? Which will flop? Here is how everybody at Icons thinks the season will pan out at home and abroad…

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Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League top four: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Manchester United

La Liga: Barcelona

Champions League: Barcelona

F.A Cup: Southampton

League Cup:  Arsenal

Relegation: Aston Villa, Norwich, Watford.

Surprise Package: Sterling and Harry Kane have poor seasons. At least 2 Premier League managers go before Christmas.

Dan Jamieson CEO and Managing Director

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich – Pep finally gets it right

FA Cup: Liverpool

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: West Ham, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Everyone is saying Bournemouth so that’s boring, how about Sterling to live up to the price tag? Crystal Palace to push for Europe

Negative surprise packages: Louis Van Gaal to be gone by this time next year having spent a third of a billion pounds on everything apart from what they need

Random predictions: The UEFA Champions League is more enjoyable on BT Sport than ITV and no one misses Andy Townsend

 

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, City, Manchester United, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero, if he can stay fit

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Barcelona

FA Cup: Man United

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Sterling to start 30 games and get double figure goals. Rooney to break England goal scoring record against Switzerland.

Negative surprise packages: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United). Depay to have great opening 10 games and then go off the boil.

Random predictions: three managers sacked by Christmas day, Mitrovic to be sent off at least twice for Newcastle, Balotelli to leave Liverpool – celebrations go wrong and fire engines called to Anfield after fireworks mishap.

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Real Madrid

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Stoke

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Jurgen Klopp to manage in Premiership in 2015/16 season

Negative surprise packages: Sam Allardyce to return as Premiership manager

Random predictions: Arsenal to beat Chelsea in a Premiership game to prove Community shield win was not luck or a fluke.

 

Jack O’Neill,  Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Manchester United

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to survive by playing positive attacking football. Diego Costa to miss the first month of the season getting a hamstring transplant. Never gets injured again. Jack Wilshere to look on in envy from the Arsenal medical table.

Negative surprise packages: Southampton to become the new Everton and push the top 4 all the way. Everton to become the new Southampton and lose all their best players.

Random predictions: Alan Pardew to lose his cool once again and punch Jose Mourinho on the touchline. Hazard / Oscar / Willian to outscore the Three Amigos in the Champions League.

 

Alistair Hunter, Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Aston Villa

Premier League bottom 3: Sunderland, Watford, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to escape relegation on the final day of the season; Newcastle and Aston Villa will be reinvigorated – the latter especially so.

Negative surprise packages: Claudio Ranieri will be sacked before Christmas, sending Leicester into a tailspin they fail to recover from. Roberto Firmino will score fewer than five goals for Liverpool, putting more pressure on Brendan Rodgers.

Random predictions: A goalkeeper will score at some point this season. Alan Pardew will have a quiet and controversy-free season.

 

Harm Jan Deuring, Social Content Co-ordinator

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Manchester City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Norwich City, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Stoke City playing Brazilian samba football. Spurs impress with youngest team ever, but will end fifth again.

Negative surprise packages: Liverpool, Southampton

Random predictions: Louis van Gaal will get his own dictionary, Depay will do better than Di Maria.

 

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Harry Kane

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Chelsea

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Everton

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth stay up, and Matt Richie is the reason why.

Negative surprise packages: Every single signing (aside from Milner) Brendan Rodgers made this summer for Liverpool.

Random predictions: Brendan Rodgers is on the hot seat by week 8.

 

 

 



He’s Back! Gareth Bale Signs For Icons.com Again

Icons met Gareth Bale for the fourth time for an exclusive signing session. This time in lovely Cardiff whilst he was on international duty with Wales.

Gareth-Bale-Signing-session (2)

Icons were given a hospitable welcome by the Welsh FA before meeting with an equally friendly Gareth. Bale signed a collection of Real Madrid, Spurs and Wales shirts for Icons, as well as his latest Adidas boot. Just a few days after our signing session, he scored the winning goal for Wales against Belgium and brought his country a step closer to qualifying for EURO 2016.

Icons have been signing with Gareth since 2011, as part of our “Stars of the Future” programme. Now Gareth is the world’s most expensive player having signed to Madrid for a cool Euros 100 million, but he’s still the same, down to earth man he was we when we first met him.

Do not forget to watch our special Gareth Bale signing video:



Icons Shop Limited Becomes The World’s Largest Football Memorabilia Company

ICONS BECOMES WORLD’S LARGEST FOOTBALL MEMORABILIA COMPANY

– Marka PJSC acquires a majority stake in Icons Shop Limited

– Icons buys assets of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, to create world’s largest football memorabilia company

London – June 15, 2015 – Icons Shop Limited, the UK-based signed memorabilia company today announced that it had sold a majority stake to Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA), the first public joint stock company focused on the UAE’s retail sector. Marka acquired a sixty-five per cent share for £2.65 million. Icons have used the investment to create the largest football memorabilia company in the world, through the purchase of the assets of rival A1 Sporting Memorabilia.

Icons, which was established in 1999, retails exclusive and non-exclusive sports merchandise, has a key focus on football. The company was awarded the world’s first ever signed football memorabilia licence by FIFA in 2010 to produce a range of signed iconic World Cup products. In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever official licence for the UEFA Champions League and this year announced a licensing deal for UEFA Euro2016 France. The company holds valuable licensing contracts with the world’s most famous players; including Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale and enjoys long term relationship with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Neymar Jr.

Marka will integrate Icons and A1 products into its Modell’s Sporting Goods stores as well as its just opened UEFA Champions League Experience, located in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall in the United Arab Emirates. The concept, developed in partnership with UEFA, is the first of its kind and plans are confirmed for multiple locations across the GCC.

Dan Jamieson, managing director of Icons said, “Icons is the world’s leading football memorabilia brand and the most trusted operation in the game. Authenticity is everything to us, as it is everything to our customers. Our new joint venture with Marka enables us to open up our offerings to the Middle East region and beyond, bringing the millions of dedicated fans there the very best choice and quality of sports memorabilia. With the acquisition of A1 we have unprecedented access to, and a wide portfolio of, past and present icons of the game.”

Nick Peel, CEO of Marka and chairman of the joint venture between Marka and Icons, said, “The acquisition of a majority stake in Icons is an important strategic addition to our growing sports retail portfolio. With the addition of A1, the company will be the world’s leading football memorabilia brand and makes Marka a market leader in a highly-profitable segment, with strong international growth potential through the successful online websites Icons.com and A1sportingmemorabilia.co.uk.”

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Terry Baker, Founder and CEO of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, commented, “We are delighted to sell the UK’s leading memorabilia website, eBay store, stock and other assets to Icons. They understand the A1 brand and with the existing team, will continue to bring our national and international audience legendary players at legendary prices. We will still be involved as consultants, but will be primarily concentrating on our sporting speaker business.”

Marka confirmed that Mr. Jamieson will remain with Icons as its chief executive officer, Icons’ current chairman, Edward Freedman will remain as a board director. Nick Peel, chief executive officer of Marka and a former retail and licensing director at Arsenal FC, will assume the role of chairman of Icons.

About Icons Shop Limited:

Icons has been in business since 1999, the full range is available on www.icons.com

Icons exclusively produce the official Leo Messi Signed Merchandise range and are entering into the 10th year of their relationship with the world’s best player. Icons hold the licences for the UEFA Champions League, The FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, the UEFA Europa League and The UEFA European Championships – UEFA Euro2016 France.

Icons Chairman, Edward Freedman, has over 40 years’ experience in the retail industry and in the late 80s was Managing Director of Tottenham Hotspur. He then moved to Manchester United and became Managing Director of Manchester United Merchandising from 1992 onwards. Over the next six years he transformed the commercial side of the club’s operation and built Manchester United into the biggest brand in world football. He was also a key player in the formation of the Premier League and was hailed by The Economist as “football’s merchandising guru”.

Icons are an international brand and supply to well over 90 countries each year and have representatives in North America and regularly supply customers in Japan, China. Australia and the Middle East.

Icons employs the highest standards in the signed football merchandise industry to assure customers of the authenticity of its products. At each event, photographs document each signature and Icons creates a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for each item including the date and venue and a picture of the product and the signing image. Each product carries a uniquely coded Icons hologram whose identical twin is added to the COA which is signed by the Icons Managing Director.

Icons products are sold in Harrods in the UK, Futbolmania in Spain, UEFA Champions League Experience Abu Dhabi and Modell’s Sporting Goods stores in Dubai.

For further information about Icons, visit www.icons.com or email [email protected]

About Marka PJSC:

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Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA) is the first public joint stock company focused on the growing retail sector in the UAE. Incorporated with a capital of AED 500 million and headquartered in Dubai, Marka is a premier retail operator targeting the mid-to-high-range and luxury segments.

Since incorporation in 2014, Marka has partnered with leading global brands in the retail and hospitality sectors, pursuing a growth strategy focused on acquisitions, franchise agreements and unique retail concepts. Marka is committed to offering value to its customers through high quality products and services at optimum cost, simultaneously generating value for its shareholders and giving back to the communities in which it operates.

For further information about Marka and to learn more about its brands, visit www.markaholding.com

 

 



Why We Love The Most Iconic UEFA Champions League Finals

The UEFA Champions League is without a doubt the crown jewel of club football silverware in the world, but what are the best finals ever played in this European competition? We selected a top five.

Top 5 Greatest Ever UEFA Champions League Finals

#5: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Real Madrid, 2002 (1-2)

Maybe not the best UEFA Champions League final, but arguably the greatest goal ever seen in a Champions League final as Zinedine Zidane scored a sublime left footed volley on the stroke of half time.

Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 for its third title in five years and ninth overall. Will they finally complete La Decima after twelve years?

Click here to see the video.

#4: FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United, 2011 (3-1)

The greatest team of the last decade at the height of their power, with Manchester United being unlucky to be its prey. Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona side were unstoppable that evening at Wembley.

By the time David Villa delicately curled home the third goal, the whole world knew that we were witnessing a truly great team and one of the best footballing outfits in the history of world football.

Click here to see the video.

#3: FC Barcelona vs. AC Milan, 1994 (0-4)

Fabio Capello’s all-conquering AC Milan side faced off against Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team‘ FC Barcelona. It promised to be an exciting evening.

But the excitement turned into admiration. Goals from Dejan Savicevic, Marcel Desailly and a brace from Daniele Massaro gave the Rossoneri an emphatic 4-0 victory. Many believe Milan’s performance in that final to be one of the best ever team displays in European history as they simply demolished their Spanish opposition.

Click here to see the video.

#2: Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich, 1999 (2-1)

Boris Becker’s story tells everything. “Franz Beckenbauer and I left our seats in the 90th minute to get into position. As we walked into the lift, the score was 1-0. Everything was going absolutely fine. By the time we got out, the scoreboard read we were losing 2-1. “There must be a mistake, Franz,” I said. He looked at me. “No, Boris. There’s no mistake.”

Two goals in injury-time from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw Manchester United overturn Mario Basler’s sixth minute opener and win a match they (judging by the stats) had no right to win. An English win in German style.

Click here to see the video.

#1: AC Milan vs. Liverpool, 2005 (3-3 AET, Liverpool wins 3-2 on penalties)

For sheer drama, suspense, unpredictability, longevity, magic, shock and ambiance, the 2005 Champions League final between five-time winners Liverpool and seven-time winners AC Milan takes number one spot.

Milan raced into a 3-0 half-time lead with football so good that hopeless Liverpool fans left the stadium in embarrassment. Bad mistake as ‘six minutes of madness’ followed culminating in Xabi Alonso thumping home the equalizer after his penalty kick was saved.

In extra time, Liverpool-goalie Jerzy Dudek pulled off an incredible save to prevent Andriy Shevchenko scoring and cause the game to go to penalties. The Polish keeper continued his heroics in the shootout and denied Shevchenko for the second time to give Liverpool their fifth and unlikeliest of European Cup triumphs.

Click here to see the video.

 



Cristiano Ronald & Icons Celebrate A Decade Together

We saw Cristiano Ronaldo for another private signing session on February 12th in Madrid, marking Cristiano’s tenth(!) year working with Icons.

Cristanio-Ronaldo-Signing-Session

In that time Cristiano has done it all – winning three Ballon d’Ors, two UEFA Champions League titles, two FIFA World Club Championships four League titles in two countries and broken countless goal scoring records at European and international level along the way. Yet Cristiano remains just as sincere and humble as when we first met him at the age of 20 in Manchester, in 2005.

Great pleasure

Cristiano has always been a pleasure to work with, offering the highest level of professionalism. Cristiano even turns up for the signing early, thankfully the Icons signing team are as ready as he is. Cristiano is friendly with everyone, and jokes with those in the room in English, Spanish and Portuguese, a testament that this is a man who is more than just a footballer.

New range of signed Cristiano Ronaldo memorabilia

In this special signing, celebrating his ten years with Icons, Cristiano signed Real Madrid home shirts, a new retro style Portugal shirt as well as a very limited number of Manchester United Shirts. Cristiano also signed two boot styles for us, including his new black Nike Victory V boots, which look absolutely stunning in silver permanent marker.

Finally, Cristiano signed a range of Madrid photos showing him celebrating his recent third Ballon d’Or win, scoring in El Clasico against Barcelona and breaking the record for most goals in one Champions League season on the way to Real Madrid’s famous La Decima title.

And do not forget to watch our special Cristiano signing video:

 



Neymar Jr Signs Icons Once Again!

Having been the first to sign with Neymar Jr. in 2012, we are pleased to announce our latest signing with the Brazil and Barcelona star. Regarded as one of the most exciting talents to hit the international stage in years, Neymar Jr. has the world at his feet.

Here you find the full, exclusive range of Neymar Jr. signed products. And do not forget to watch our video below we shot during the signing session!



Congratulations Cristiano Ronaldo: 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or Winner!

Huge congratulations from all at Icons to the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo – official FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 winner! 69 goals in 2013 saw the Portuguese superstar rocket to victory, pipping Leo Messi and Bayern Munich wide man Franck Ribery to the prestigious award at a ceremony in Zurich last night.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo delivers a speech after receiving the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or award for player of the year during the FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN        (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo delivers a speech after receiving the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award for player of the year during the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ronaldo was overcome with emotion onstage accepting the prize. “It means a lot to win this after Eusébio‘s passing,” he said. “I dedicate this award to him and my team-mates. He was watching from the skies to see this great moment for a Portuguese player. When I saw my mum crying it made me cry as well. I’m an emotional person. It is very difficult to win this award.”

2014 will be Icons’ tenth year working with Cristiano. For the best in CR7 signed memorabilia, look no further than Icons.

Follow Icons on Twitter for all the latest football news, chat and competitions: @icons_footbal

 



Gareth Bale Signs For Icons.com Again!

Icons met Gareth Bale for the third time in three years this week in Cardiff whilst he was on international duty with Wales.

Gareth-Bale-Signing-Session

Icons were given a hospitable welcome by the Welsh FA before meeting with an equally friendly Gareth. Bale signed a collection of Real Madrid, Spurs and Wales shirts for Icons, as well as his latest Adidas boot. Being the first signing Gareth has done since helping Madrid to their La Decima, Icons have a collection of special itemscelebrating his UEFA Champions league final winning goal against Atletico Madrid.

Icons have been signing with Gareth since 2011, as part of our “Stars of the Future” programme. Now Gareth is the world’s most expensive player having signed to Madrid for a cool Euros 100 million, but he’s still the same, down to earth man he was we when we first met him.