Archive - August 2014

1
College Football is Back!
2
Blake Bortles Finds Success in the NFL
3
Fanatics Authentic August Autograph Signings
4
Product Feature: Chris Bosh NBA Finals Game-Used Sneakers
5
Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athletes Participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
6
Yasiel Puig Joins Fanatics Authentic’s Roster of Exclusive Athletes
7
Fanatics Authentic at NFL Hall of Fame Weekend
8
The 2014 MLB Postseason Race is Heating Up

College Football is Back!

FSU_2013Champs

Whip out your favorite team’s jersey and clear your Saturday schedules because college football is finally back in action! With the inauguration of the NCAA’s four-team playoff system, this season is shaping up to be one of the best in quite some time.

Leading the ACC is the defending national champion Florida State. The ‘Noles return to Tallahassee with their Heisman winning quarterback Jameis Winston alongside preseason All-American tight end Nick O’Leary and a cast of other stars that helped bring the national championship to the Sunshine State last winter. FSU tops both the AP and USA Today NCAA football rankings and are widely regarded as an overwhelming favorite to repeat as national champs. Looking to dethrone the ‘Noles and take the ACC crown are head coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers, who return fire up for the season after pulling off an incredible victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl last year.

2014 is a rare season in the college football world, one in which an SEC team is not atop the preseason polls. Despite not having a team that holds the number one spot, the Southeastern Conference still boasts eight teams in the top 25. After a disappointing defeat in the Sugar Bowl, the Alabama Crimson Tide brings in yet another top notch recruiting class to help win a 16th national title. Also, in the top 10 of the polls come Auburn and South Carolina. Auburn gave a heavily favored Florida State team a run for their money in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game while Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks put together yet another successful campaign in South Carolina. With schools like LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Mizzou on the cusp of taking home the SEC’s highest honors, this year’s Southeastern Conference play will surely be a wide open and electrifying battle.

While the SEC is traditionally known as college football’s powerhouse conference, the PAC-12 is making quite the argument that they may indeed be the nations toughest group of teams. With the emergence of programs like UCLA, Oregon, and Stanford, this year could very well be the first in which a Pacific Coast team takes home a national championship since USC a decade ago. A squad of Heisman hopefuls highlights the talent of the PAC-12 conference, including Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and UCLA QB Brett Hundley. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive back Su’a Cravens were both named preseason All-Americans and look to restore greatness to the USC Trojans in the PAC-12 this season.

ChrisDavis_AuburnAmerica’s heartland is stacked with a selection of teams looking to bring home the NCAA’s first playoff championship this season. Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners are fresh off of a romping of the prestigious Alabama Crimson Tide program in the Orange Bowl in 2014. With a defense headlined by linebacker Eric Striker, OU has received votes over Florida State and Alabama to be named the number one team in the country this season. Looking to give the Sooners a run for their money are Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats and the Baylor Bears, led by playmaker Antwan Goodley at wide receiver.

This fall is sure to be a big time for the Big 10. The most classic conference in college football recently welcomed in Rutgers and Maryland to join the likes of it’s other historic programs. After losing starting quarterback Braxton Miller for the year in mid-August, the Buckeyes are seeking to overcome this devastating injury and take home another Big 10 title. With one of the most feared defenses in all of college football, the Michigan State Spartans want more than just another Rose Bowl victory this winter. Along with the Buckeyes and Spartans, traditional powerhouse teams like Nebraska and Wisconsin are also in the conversation to take home a Big 10 championship at Lucas Oil Field in December.

Whether you’re a die-hard Michigan Wolverines fan, a Georgia Bulldog faithful, or anywhere in between, Fanatics Authentic has you covered with the finest selection of college football memorabilia on the web. Our second-to-none assortment of authenticated merchandise ranges everywhere from signed jerseys, footballs, photos, and much more from all of your favorite universities. Kickoff the college football season on the right foot by browsing our college football memorabilia today!

Blake Bortles Finds Success in the NFL

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Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback and Fanatics Authentic exclusive athlete, Blake Bortles seemingly came out of nowhere last year and led his Cinderella-like University of Central Florida team to a Fiesta Bowl upset over the highly touted Baylor Bears. Bortles threw for 301 yards, rushed for 94 yards and accounted for four touchdowns and was named Fiesta Bowl MVP. Then, just a few months later Bortles was selected with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and dubbed the next face of the Jacksonville Jaguars organization.

A prototypical quarterback, Blake Bortles stands 6-foot-5 and weighs over 230 pounds, making him a durable force even at the NFL level. At UCF, Bortles’ numbers improved every year he was the starting quarterback and topped off his senior season with 3,581 passing yards, accounting for 31 touchdowns. Bortles is also an established winner, with a 22-5 record as a starter at UCF to give him one of the best winning percentages in college football history. A rookie with an impressive demeanor on the field and a keen eye for calling necessary plays, Bortles is expected to stack up as the next big thing in the pros. With the Jaguars, Bortles will also have the luxury of handing the ball off to his collegiate running back, Storm Johnson. The duo played a huge role in establishing UCF as a football powerhouse, and now will work together to place Jacksonville back on the football map. Beyond Johnson, Bortles will have a number of potent offensive weapons to use once he takes over the starting position. Rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee has been mentioned as one of the greatest steals of the draft, and Marcedes Lewis, and established veteran, will give Bortles a weapon out of the tight end position.

Given Blake Bortles’ track record at UCF and the offensive weapons the Jaguars have surrounded him with, it seems like a given that he will continue his smooth transition into the NFL. Although it seems Bortles will redshirt during the upcoming season and shadow veteran quarterback Chad Henne, the latest NFL sensation has thrived all throughout preseason and rapidly improved his game. Football fans might not see Blake Bortles take the field until the 2015 season, but when he does, they’re in for a real treat.

Bortles_JagsJersey

Show your support for Blake Bortles and Jacksonville football by investing in Blake Bortles memorabilia. Fans and collectors can take home exclusively signed NFL products like a, signed Blake Bortles helmet, to display Jaguars pride and honor the next great quarterback to write his name in football history.

Fanatics Authentic August Autograph Signings

August was an exciting month at Fanatics Authentic, from the autograph sessions appearances at multiple sports memorabilia shows to the addition of new players to the roster of Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athletes. With the National Sports Collectors Convention and NFL Hall of Fame weekend in early August, Fanatics Authentic kicked off the month with signings with sports legends, like Julius Erving and Dan Marino, but that was just the beginning. Throughout the month, Fanatics Authentic had the pleasure of hosting autograph signings with a number of players, including Marqise Lee, Anthony Rizzo, Yasiel Puig, and more. For some behind the scenes, check out the images below!

StarlingMartedanfoutssigningJuliusErvingmarino signingJimThomejimkellysigningMarquiseLeethurmanthomassigningGregoryPolanco

Product Feature: Chris Bosh NBA Finals Game-Used Sneakers

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Courtesy of its exclusive relationships with some of the top athletes in the game, Fanatics Authentic has the capability to offer fans the most unique sports memorabilia available, including game-used collectibles. Fanatics Authentic’s new game-worn memorabilia division allows fans and sports collectors to take home the actual thrill of unforgettable plays and championship moments.

Although the 2014 NBA Finals are long over, basketball fans will never forget the epic showdown between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. In a five-game series that made NBA history, Chris Bosh played a key role in the Heat’s championship run, especially when it came to a vital push to win the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite falling short of the title, Chris Bosh and the rest of the team will be forever known as some of the greatest players ever to play in the NBA because of Miami’s incredible success. With a basketball legacy that will always remain a thrilling part of basketball history, NBA products dedicated to these athletes are iconic. In addition to the value of Miami Heat autographs, game-worn collectibles hold even more worth. These Chris Bosh game-used sneakers were worn by the Miami Heat big man, during the 2013-2014 NBA Finals series. Considering these Nike sneakers actually experienced every jump shot and rebound of the NBA Finals, Chris Bosh game-worn shoes are real treasure for all sports memorabilia collections.

boshAfter signing with the Miami Heat for the 2010-2011 Season, Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to complete the NBA’s most domineering “Big Three’ that would go on to write basketball history. Bosh went on to completely dominate the league for the next three years by leading Miami to four consecutive Eastern Conference titles and two NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. As a two-time NBA Champion and a nine-time All-Star selection, Chris Bosh is one of the leading players of his time and his career will never be forgotten by basketball fans everywhere. Throughout the 2014 NBA Finals, in which these game-worn Chris Bosh sneakers were worn, Miami battled the Spurs for five cutthroat games and endured everything Bosh had to put on the floor. Since entering the postseason, Parker and the Spurs defeated the Mavericks, Trail Blazers, and Thunder in three exciting series of the NBA Playoffs to earn a ticket to 2014 NBA Championship for a rematch of last year’s Finals against the Miami Heat.

As the Miami Heat legend goes on to solidify his place in NBA history, Chris Bosh memorabilia adds future Hall of Fame value to any sports room or collection while serving as a fruitful investment. Not only is sports memorabilia that celebrated Bosh’s career in high demand due to his previous achievements, Chris Bosh collectibles have the potential to hold massive value if he can secure another NBA title before hanging up his jersey for the last time. Featuring Miami Heat colors and a hand-written inscription denoting the game of the NBA Finals in which each pair of Nike shoes was worn, these Chris Bosh game-used sneakers are a must-have for Miami Heat fans and sports memorabilia collectors.

Honor the remarkable Chris Bosh by shopping these rare products on the Fanatics Authentic website, here.

Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athletes Participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Throughout the summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge swept the world and went viral on social media to spread awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gehrig’s disease. As the thousands of people dumped a bucket of ice water over their heads, the ALS Association received over $10 million in donations since mid-July. In the midst of the Ice Bucket phenomenon, many of our Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athletes jumped on board to support ALS and build awareness with their own challenge videos. From 2014 NBA Champion, Tony Parker, to Big Papi David Ortiz, athletes from across all major leagues have taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Check out their videos below!

 

Tony Parker

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152427025313173

 

David Ortiz

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152617964884836

 

Earl Thomas

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=278008402405037

 

Yasiel Puig

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=919566108057149

 

Peyton Manning

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152681952916318

 

Chandler Parsons

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=752144988180640

 

Fanatics Owner, Michael Ruben

Yasiel Puig Joins Fanatics Authentic’s Roster of Exclusive Athletes

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Fanatics Authentic is proud to announce that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Yasiel Puig, is officially a Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athlete. Joining a roster of over 50 Fanatics Authentic Exclusive Athletes, Yasiel Puig will bring fans and collectors truly genuine and unique autographed sports memorabilia. Courtesy of Fanatics Authentic’s exclusive relationship with Puig, customers will not only have access to premier sports collectibles featuring the upcoming All-Star, fans will potentially have the opportunity to attend official signings with the Dodgers outfielder and see behind-the-scenes autograph sessions.

Recently, Yasiel Puig emerged seemingly out of nowhere to instantly become one of the most effective and popular players in Major League Baseball. Immediately upon defecting from Cuba, Puig signed a $42 million deal with the Dodgers that spans for seven years. After making his Major League debut in June of 2013, Puig Mania hit Los Angeles, as the rookie recorded 27 hits in his first 15 games while leading the Dodgers to an NL West division title. Yasiel Puig has not slowed down since tearing up the majors and as of the midway mark of the 2014 season, the two-time NL Player of the Month has hit over .300 with 50 RBIs and earned his first of what will be many MLB All-Star Game appearances.

As Yasiel Puig continues to write his name in MLB history, Fanatics Authentic is thrilled to be along for the ride. With a bright future ahead, make a smart investment for your sports room or collection with autographed Yasiel Puig memorabilia. Take home a piece of the action with a Yasiel Puig autographed baseball or show your Dodgers pride with a signed Yasiel Puig jersey, by shopping the full product offering, here.

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Fanatics Authentic at NFL Hall of Fame Weekend

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From August 1st to 3rd, the National Football League spent three full days of events paying tribute to the sport’s greatest players for the 2014 Hall of Fame Weekend. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival legends of the past and countless football fans together to honor the class of 2014, which includes seven NFL icons: Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, and Aeneas Williams. Throughout a weekend of events that celebrated the newest addition to the Football Hall of Fame, Fanatics Authentic hosted some of the greatest players from throughout NFL history for a day of autograph signings. With exclusive signings and exciting giveaways, the Fanatics Authentic Hall of Fame autograph sessions provided a day to truly remember for fans in attendance.

FAbooth

Hall of Fame memorabilia

marino signing

Dan Marino autographing a Dolphins jersey

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The most dedicated fans at the event

Jim Kelly signing autographs

Jim Kelly signing autographs

Exclusive Hall of Fame Weekend Plaque

Exclusive Hall of Fame Weekend Plaque

The Fanatics Authentic Booth

The Fanatics Authentic Booth

Thurman Thomas signings a Bills helmet

Thurman Thomas signings a Bills helmet

LaDainian Tomlinson and Dan Marino

LT and Dan Marino

Andre Reed Hall of Fame Plaque

Andre Reed Hall of Fame Plaque

Cornelius "Biscuit" Bennett signings autographs

Cornelius “Biscuit” Bennett signings autographs

John Hannah autographing a Pats jersey

John Hannah autographing a Pats jersey

The Gold Jacket

The Gold Jacket

Lawrence Taylor Giveaway Winner

Lawrence Taylor Giveaway Winner

Dan Fouts autographing photos from his glory days

Dan Fouts autographing photos from his glory days

memorabilia

Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills Memorabilia

Bruce Smith signing autographs for fans

Bruce Smith signing autographs for fans

Fanatics Authentic Hall of Fame Raffle Prize

Fanatics Authentic Hall of Fame Raffle Prize

Darryl Talley signing photos

Darryl Talley signing photos

The 2014 MLB Postseason Race is Heating Up

fielder_atbatAs the dog days of summer are upon us, it looks like the MLB postseason race is heating up quickly. A number of familiar names are once again atop the standings, but 2014 could certainly shape up to be the year an unexpected team takes home the coveted Commissioner’s Trophy in October.

A complete turnaround job has been done in the span of a year in the American League East. Former division champ Boston Red Sox and wild card winner Tampa Bay Rays are now sitting at the bottom of the standings with virtually no shot at making repeat appearances in the postseason after shipping off their respected aces Jon Lester and David Price. On the other hand, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays have put together some of the more impressive seasons in 2014 and both look like they have a shot to bring home the division title almost always held by the Yankees or Red Sox. At the trade deadline, New York invested in a bit of infield help by acquiring Chase Headley and Martin Prado in attempts to give Derek Jeter a farewell tour topped off with yet another World Series victory.

With the late-July acquisition of former Cy Young Award winner David Price from Tampa Bay, the Detroit Tigers appear to be in the driver’s seat of the American League Central. With Price on a staff featuring two more Cy Young pitchers in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Detroit is very well positioned to win their first World Series championship in 30 years. However, don’t count out Kansas City and Cleveland in the AL Central race. Sitting only several spots back are these two dark horse candidates looking to play spoiler to Detroit’s big deadline pickup.

Chrisdavis_HRrecordIt’s not unreasonable to say that the American League West is one of the most talented divisions that Major League Baseball has seen in years. The Oakland A’s may be straying away from their “Beane Ball” strategy in which they’re known for signing on low-price small name players. Oakland has shown the baseball world that they’re all in on making a World Series run, as they inked two dominant pitchers to add to their already talented staff with Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester. The Los Angeles Angels got hot at the right time and became one of the most winning teams in the league since the month of June. MVP candidate Mike Trout is putting together yet another legendary season in Southern California while future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is bouncing back nicely from an off-year in 2013. Both the Angels and A’s are nearly guaranteed spots in the MLB postseason in 2014 while Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners are keeping their wild card hopes alive in the American League.

The dominant days of the Phillies and Mets seem to be over with in the National League East. Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals are looking to take home their second division crown in three years as they seek to stay atop the standings. The Atlanta Braves is right on the tail of Washington, sitting only several games out of first place and right in the thick of the wild card race. A surprising Miami Marlins team also finds themselves with a shot at a first playoff appearance, as a late-season surge could get them to their first postseason appearance in over a decade.

starlingmarteA four-team battle for first place in the National League Central will certainly make for an entertaining seasons end of baseball. The surprise of the 2014 MLB season has unquestionably been the Milwaukee Brewers. Sitting dead last in the division a year ago, Milwaukee has emerged as a legitimate World Series contender behind the all-star play of catcher Jonathan Lucroy and infielder Scooter Gennett. Last year’s NL pennant winning St. Louis Cardinals are in second place and looking to overtake Milwaukee with the acquisition of pitchers Justin Masterson and John Lackey at the trade deadline. Not far out of first come 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as a Cincinnati Reds team that both find themselves within reach of a wild card berth.

A two-team fight out west will give baseball fan’s some of the most anticipated pitching duels of the year. The Los Angeles Dodgers and their all-around loaded roster look to finally take home a World Series victory after years of falling short in the postseason. The Cy Young caliber play of pitcher Clayton Kershaw and second-to-none plate presence of all-star Yasiel Puig give Los Angeles fans reason to believe that the Dodgers could be the World Series champs in 2014. But to get to the promise land the Dodgers have to shake off their always powerful rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Bay Area team has taken home two of the last four World Series victories and is certainly in the mix for winning yet another. A cast of scrappy field players and a pitching staff featuring superstars like Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner will take on the Dodgers in attempts to be named the National League West Division champions in 2014.

Whether your team is atop the standings or a bottom feeder this season, baseball fans everywhere are in for an interesting ride in the coming months. As All-Stars strive to keep their team in the running and solid contenders fight to pull away as a top runner for the crown, the competition couldn’t be better. Catch the heat of the MLB postseason race and don’t miss a minute of the action before just ten teams remain in the competition.

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