Bold Sports Card Predictions For 2022

January 5, 2022

2021 was a fantastic year for sports and sports cards. Games felt a lot more normal as stadiums returned to the capacity it sees. Meanwhile, it seemed new individual cards set all-time-high prices every month. 2022 promises to be another exciting year. To kick it off, Cardlines has 9 bold sports card predictions for 2022.

Nine Bold Sports Card Predictions For 2022

Predicting the future is a fools errand. But here at Cardlines we are unafraid. Therefore, we have collected the most bold sports card predictions for 2022, for your enjoyment.

The Card Market Will Dip Overall

Price surged when live sports stopped and sports betters and money flooded into the card market. However, the sports card market could not maintain the all-time highs it reached during the pandemic.

Therefore, commons and base cards have dipped. In my opinion, they will continue to decline.

Please don’t take this wrong: sports card investing is still a viable alternative form of investing. But the base is not the way to go about it.

As flippers begin to leave the hobby, there are fewer buyers. Therefore, demand will drop as the supply increases. This trend is aided by Panini ramping up the print runs. This combo isn’t great for overall market value. However, profit will be made if you invest in the right cards.

The Price Gap Between Base And Autos/Parallels Will Increase

This part is a sequel to the previous one. The same logic applies: the rare cards will be worth more as demand increases and collectors realize just how many base rookies are in circulation.

For example, the current difference between a Ja Morant Silver PSA 10 rookie and a base PSA 10 rookie is about $1,000. By the end of this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number stretched to $1,250 – $1,500. Parallels and other chase cards will increase while the base rookies drop as the market adjusts.

Autos instead of base are the play (look for Jordan autos on eBay)

Retail Cards Will Be Easier To Find

By the end of 2022, we will find the cards we want on retail shelves. This is a big win for anybody who likes ripping packs: so probably all of us.

The dip in blaster box prices combined with the increase in SRP from Panini and Topps has forced a lot of flippers out of the game. That means cards will be available for the people who genuinely collect. So again, this is a big win for the industry as a whole.

The World Cup Will Increase The Soccer Card Market

Soccer cards made a big jump last year. The pool of international and American collectors grew. You can expect the same thing in 2022. To help fuel the growth, the 2022 World Cup will bring the most prominent names to soccer’s biggest stage.

Most sports card collectors are still based in the United States. However, the World Cup will lure more American collectors into investing in soccer cards. After all, the World Cup is such a big deal that even non-soccer fans tune in to watch. When some “convert” into collectors, soccer prices will climb.

The World Cup will expose more Americans to stars like Lionel Messi (look for his cards on eBay)

Panini Will Flood The Market With New Products

We told you these were the most bold sports card predictions for 2022! Well, ok. This prediction is less earth-shattering.

More so than Topps, Panini has been the culprit behind flooding the market with new products. Some of these brands were thought out (Mosaic is one). Others appear to be a thrown-together attempt to leverage the hot market while Panini still has the licenses. Flux is a recent example of this trend.

Panini’s clock continues to tick down before Fanatics over. In this situation, Panini doesn’t have much skin in the long-term health of the hobby. Because of that, we can expect more money-grabbing releases to follow.

Fanatics Will Acquire Panini

A very bold prediction here, but don’t be surprised if Fanatics acquires Panini. I’m writing this the day Fanatics acquired Topps for 500 million. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see something like this come from Panini, too. From a business point of view, Panini’s immediate payout might help them decide to act now instead of waiting to lose their licenses.

But note that Fanatics doesn’t sell a lot of its brand-name products. In fact, we may see something like “Topps Chrome by Fanatics” for years and years to come. If Fanatics buys Panini, we might have Fanatics Prizm or something similar based on how IP is handled in the deal, and if that’s the case, the brand continuity going forward could only help the card market.

A Generational Talent Will Emerge

By the end of 2022, we’ll realize we’re watching a generational talent – somebody who will be at the very top of their game for a decade or more. I’m not sure who this will be just yet, but by the end of 2022, that player will come into focus. If I were to guess, one of these situations would be my shot in the dark:

  • Joe Burrow will overtake Herbert and the veterans to claim the title of “best quarterback in the NFL.” Joe will throw for 5,000 yards if he stays healthy while leading the Bengals to 11 or 12 wins.
  • Evan Mobley shows his absurd combination of ball skills and size makes him a Giannis-like threat. His talent could lead the Cavs to an all-in shake-up that makes them a contender.
  • Shohei Ohtani builds on a breakout year, solidifies his spot as one of the game’s greats, and changes how we think about baseball.
Is Joe Burrow a generational talent? (look for his RPAs on eBay)

NFTs Will Get A Bigger Share Of The Market

We’ve seen TopShot explode and heard whispers of an upcoming NFL project like it. However, blockchain technology is still not overtaking sports cards.

Sure, some of us are more old-fashion and enjoy the in-person element of autographs and memorabilia (I, for one, am!). But we are now in a society where people pay bazillion dollars for stoned-looking apes. Therefore,  the rare-art mindset that makes Prizm colors valuable will translate to the NFT space.

Candy Digital Will Become A Huge Player

If you’ve never heard of Candy Digital, here’s the rundown. A business launched by Michael Rubin (Fanatics) and Gary Vaynerchuck (semi-annoying investment thought leader) deals with NFTs in the sports world. Thanks to the Fanatics deal, Rubin has connections to the digital and physical sports cards and memorabilia sold and traded with eyes toward the future.

Before the end of 2022, Candy Digital could become one of the most prominent players in the sports world and a vast marketplace for selling and trading digital cards and goods.

Candy will be in a position to leverage its ties to Fanatics.

Bottomline Of Our Bold Sports Card Predictions For 2022

We don’t expect any massive changes in 2022. More likely, the trends of the last few months will continue. Base cards will drop, while the high end will maintain their value. Some of the promising young players of 2021 will reach fruition. All these are guesses, but one thing seems clear: Fanatics will dominate the card world. Stay with Cardlines this year as we monitor these exciting developments.

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