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AC Momento wants you to change how to collect football jerseys

Real-time match worn sales app thanks to AC Milan has also arrived in Italy

AC Momento wants you to change how to collect football jerseys Real-time match worn sales app thanks to AC Milan has also arrived in Italy

The market for football jerseys is going big and abandoning the flea markets, real and virtual, on which for decades collectors used to spend hours combing every nook and cranny in search of the unobtainable piece. Now purchases take place in real time on apps, through online auctions and certifications that attest to both the authenticity and condition of the item for sale.

The name that is revolutionizing the landscape is that of AC Momento, which as of this season has also arrived in Italy after striking deals with teams in Spain and Portugal. The first Italian experience was during the match between AC Milan and Bologna, during which the jerseys of the Rossoneri players were auctioned immediately after kickoff. We spoke with John Brennan, the founder and CEO of Ac Momento, to find out how the sale of match worn jerseys will change. 

How did you decide to launch on this project? Have you always been big fans of football jerseys?

Football has always been my biggest passion. When I was young, I obsessed over Panini’s World Cup stickers every 4 years, and as I got older, my collecting expanded into cards, ticket stubs from key matches in history, match programmes, and of course, kits. Over the last couple of years in particular, I became more and more interested in match-worn specifically because of I loved that every match-worn shirt represents a specific match and moment in time for a player in their career, yet didn’t feel there was a good way to consistently and reliably collect match-worn, and definitely no place that emphasizes storytelling which we think is fundamental for match-worn. My hope is that AC Momento can change that, and besides being the best place to collect match-worn, also build a brand and community that properly celebrates the category.

In recent years, football jerseys have become a real lifestyle item, how has this transformed the buying and selling landscape?

It’s been amazing to watch football shirts crossover into fashion and lifestyle. Kits that are meant to be played in are now very much part of the cultural zeitgeist — everyone remembers the release of the Nigeria World Cup shirts in 2018, the Venezia shirts last season, and now, Vasco da Gama has dominated the conversation this past week. It’s amazing to talk to friends in recent days about a club they were not familiar with (Vasco) yet plan on buying their shirt, and in the process learning about what it represents for the club and its supporters. I am sure it’s obvious but I feel strongly that storytelling and the “why” behind not just match-worn but kits in general has been lacking in the space, yet is a big part of the reason kit collecting has become more mainstream.

In Italy, the jersey market has moved from buying and selling between individuals on social platforms to real-time apps. What do you think will be the next evolution?

It’s obvious that there could be better ways for collectors to buy, sell and swap kits between themselves… and even to display them for friends and followers to view. We’ve gotten so many messages since we launched asking if and when we’ll support these behaviors on our app, and it’s something we’re considering as we work to define how our product should evolve in the coming months.

Can gamification related to real-time auction be an added value to watching live matches?

I think so, yes. Companies like Sorare have already done a fantastic job marrying collecting with gamification and giving fans an added reason to tune-in to football matches. This isn’t something we’re focused on at this time, but it’s easy to imagine a future where we do more to make the live, in-game auctions even more engaging.

In the time of NFTs, what is the value of a jersey worn by a player on the pitch?

I don’t think the popularity of NFTs has had a material impact on the value of match-worn. If anything, NFTs have only led to more people becoming collectors, which could lead to more interest in tangible, physical collectibles like match-worn shirts. It’s also easy to imagine a future where the two can interact as certain NFT projects have accelerated the marriage of the digital with the physical in compelling ways.

Giving away jerseys to fans at the stadium is an important in game tradition, how could your app change it?

I don’t think our app will change this tradition at all, because we focus primarily on shirts worn in the first half. This was very intentional because as football fans ourselves, we would never want to disrupt this tradition and others like players swapping shirts at the end of games, or even holding onto them for their own personal collections.

How does authentication work and what is the process that takes the jersey from the locker room to the collector's home?

We secure the shirts directly from the dressing room, and then they are transported to one of our secure storage facilities where our team puts them through a sanitation process to remove the moisture, smell, and bacteria, before affixing a unique authentication label that ties back to the digital Certificate of Authenticity (dCOA). We then do photography of the front and back of the shirt so that we can swap that imagery onto the dCOA in the winners account, replacing the stock image. From there, at any time, the winner can redeem the shirt directly in-app and have it sent to their home anywhere in the world, fully insured.

So far what has been the most hotly contested jersey on your app, and at what price has it been beaten?

Charles De Ketelaere’s shirt in Milan’s home match against Bologna a couple of weeks ago, probably because it was his debut in the Starting XI for Milan, and also the first time they wore their new Third kit. It sold for around €5.000

In the future, do you plan to create an in-house marketplace where collectors can sell and buy jerseys won at auction?

Yes, this is in our plans, but we don’t want to rush it. We have many more clubs and players to onboard, and a lot more education to do about AC Momento in general, which are our top two priorities right now.