I hope all of you are well. I write this to you and your entire leadership teams and investors as an appeal to your humanity. I feel that it is important to speak truth to power. I hope that if this reaches your attention, you find goodness in it and see an opportunity to do things to uplift this community and industry.
We do not know one another, but we coexist in the same market. You’re the big fish, and I’m a tiny fish just starting out in comparison. I don’t have a big budget or vast inventory, nor do I have exclusive deals with the leagues, owners or players associations. Put yourself in my place, how am I or anyone else in the market supposed to compete? How would you feel if you were on the bottom and seeing the big wigs making moves that basically makes it impossible for you? A market cannot thrive without competition.
I implore you not to create a business model that is only direct to consumer. That will cripple this industry and make you a target for the FTC, SEC, as well as all the businesses that will be negatively impacted by that decision. It also goes against your ideals and values as a company of inclusion, diversity, and equity. Monopolies, as well as oligopolies have no place in America. Businesses who have been in the business for decades are worried they won’t have a place anymore. Is that how you envisioned changing up our beloved hobby? By squeezing out all competition with exclusive deals and buying out the top businesses?
Even if you can somehow avoid persecution for monopolization, you’d still be alienating some of your biggest potential customers, the B2B community. There won’t be an industry if there’s no one else in it.
In my opinion, no one person or group of people should have so much power. It really shouldn’t be up to you to whether or not to acquiesce such influence and allowing businesses to put your product in their stores. It shouldn’t be there in the first place, but that isn’t really your fault. You’re savvy businessmen who are making the most of the way things are. It’s not your fault that anti-monopoly laws are essentially unenforced. I do urge you to renegotiate your deals with the leagues and companies you own to non-exclusive if it’s not too late.
I hope you choose to do the right thing and don’t squeeze out all the card shops and online retailers with your direct to consumer approach. Please, there’s more than enough to go around, and we can all win together and thrive. Your successes don’t have to be at our expense, nor should they. If you’ve read this, I thank you for your time and consideration, and I wish you all the best.