From auctioning match-worn rarities to becoming the Fifa’s official online retail partner
"Worn and unwashed" - at any other auction house this addition would be a killer criterion for bidders. Not so with sport-auktion.de. If you increase your bid here, grass stains, sweat and tears are all the more reason for you to dig deeper into your pockets. "Match worn" is the name of the word that drives up collector blood pressure and prices. Behind the portal is the company Sportnex. We present our customers and their success story around football. Because in the meantime, the Munich-based company stands for more than just curious auctions: Fifa's online shops, for example.
"Grass stains, for example, can be compared to TV footage and vouch for the authenticity of a jersey," explains Andreas Lipp, Managing Director of Sportnex. The company has been a leader in fan merchandise and memorabilia for almost 15 years. Sportnex now has 10 employees. In addition to the online auction house, Sportnex now operates the online shops of FIFA, FC Bayern Munich Fan Club Shops, UEFA and Score Draw Germany, which specialise in retro merchandising. In addition, there are license partners from the English Premier League and other renowned European clubs. The latest coup: Sportnex will also be responsible for the UEFA Champions League shop. "We see ourselves as a trustworthy e-commerce partner with a 360-degree approach," says Lipp.
Poppy Mesut breaks records
Almost everything that gets under the hammer at sport-auktion.de actually comes directly from the changing room. "Usually we get the pieces from the kitman, who collects them immediately after the game or training and has them signed," explains the founder. "In addition, we have exclusive partnerships with the respective clubs - so we can vouch for the authenticity and uniqueness of the pieces. From signed goalkeeper gloves or soccer shoes to unwashed jerseys to a photo together with the favourite team - we trade everything that the fan and collector's heart desires and that cannot be bought anywhere else.”
8,893 British pounds, that is about 11,700 Swiss francs or 10,100 euros, was the previous record. This amount went over the table for an Arsenal jersey. Not for anybody - and of course it was unwashed: "The German national player Mesut Özil signed his Remembrance Poppy shirt after the game against the Tottenham Hotspurs, i.e. the jersey that is printed with the typical memorial sign for the British war victims", says Lipp. By the way: most of the bidders are “regulars" and don't come from football Germany, but from the USA, China and Japan.
Rarities and legends
It all started with the auctions, but now Sportnex also manages the official FIFA Online-Shop and is distribution partner of Icons.com. On both portals there are fan articles, which you won't find anywhere else. On fifa.com/worldcup fans can buy all official merchandising items, on icons.com signed and guaranteed real rarities, such as a home game jersey of the Brazilian national team signed by the legends Pélé and Neymar Jr..
"Never listen to the naysayers"
Sportnex are e-commerce pioneers of the first hour and write one of the success stories in the new German “mittelstand”. Advanon came into play when the company no longer only offered services, but also increasingly had to do with goods traffic. As part of cash flow management, invoice sales provides liquidity for further investment and growth. "Advanon is flexible and fast. This enables us to give our customers, with whom we have close relationships, longer payment terms, but without having to suffer as a result," says Lipp. What advice does the managing director give to other entrepreneurs? "I can only quote Arnold Schwarzenegger: 'Never listen to the naysayers'! You can achieve anything with faith in yourself and hard work." Even the promotion from the regional division to economic Champion League.