NBA Top Shot Extremely Popular, $59 Million in Sales in One Week

Recently, NBA Top Shot digital moments (cards) have shown that they could be the future of trading collectibles. They may also be a way for sports fans to make some quick money.

In a recent seven-day period, NBA Top Shot generated a record $59 million in sales last week. Since the collectibles launched in October 2020, NBA Top Shot has seen over $123 million in total sales.

Even though it’s been around since July 2019, Top Shot has started seeing an increase in popularity as of late. Collectors are making more money as more cards are released.

For example, in January 2021, three LeBron James moments sold for over $20,000 apiece according to Dapper Labs, NBA Top Shot’s distributor.

There is even a highlight of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant that is up for grabs for a minimum of $100,000.

The fact that NBA Top Shot is able to make fans that much money in a short time says a lot. So far, the service has over 65,000 fans taking part in purchases and trades.

Could this lead to physical trading cards becoming a trend of the past?

How NBA Top Shot Works

For those who are unfamiliar with NBA Top Shot, it works similar to the idea of trading cards. However, instead of opening physical packs and collecting cards, fans open digital packs and collect virtual highlights and moments.

The NBA provides highlights to Dapper Labs, Top Shot’s distributor. The highlights are then put into packs and sold starting at $9 and going up to $230. Fans can then trade and sell their highlights to other players.

According to Roham Gharegozlou, the CEO of Dapper Labs, NBA Top Shot is the future of trading collectibles because of the lack of borders in a digital world.

“All markets are immediate and international. No longer do you have to wait for a card to be graded or delivered or fear of forgeries,” said Gharegozlou. “I don't see why we can't get to a place where this business is grossing $1 billion alone.”

One common misconception is that you need to have a lot of money to participate in the trend. However, Gharegozlou said that’s untrue. In fact, he said that over 700,000 transactions have been for highlights worth $50 or less.

Top Shot Works as Stock Market

While NBA Top Shot can be used as a way for fans to collect and trade highlights, some people are using it as a way to invest money.

Fans may buy a certain highlight at a price and wait for its demand to increase before they sell it to capitalize on some potential profit. However, not everyone is guaranteed to make a lot of money.

Just because a highlight sells at $20,000 one day doesn’t mean that it will always go for that price. Prices fluctuate as new NBA Top Shot packs come out, as well as when fans are selling more copies of a certain highlight.

Much like how people jumped on the opportunity to join the GameStop stock craze, people are doing the same for NBA Top Shot. The more people post on social media about crazy highlight prices, the more people sign up due to “fear of missing out.”

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.