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UK football fans fall in love with Leo Messi

by Dan 5. July 2012 04:45

Icons Press Release: July 2, 2012

UK Football Fans Fall In Love With Leo Messi

Signed Leo Messi products from Icons.com outselling the rest by 4 to 1

FORMER Manchester United Merchandising Director, Edward Freedman, says sales figures for Icons.com’s Leo Messi signed memorabilia prove the Argentinian maestro is now the UK’s best-loved player.

Freedman chairs Icons.com - the most trusted football memorabilia supplier in the game, providing sought-after signed shirts, photos and other products to fans and gift buyers throughout the world.

The former Managing Director of Tottenham Hotspur, hailed by The Economist as “football’s merchandising guru”, says Messi memorabilia now outsells Ronaldo, the next best selling player, by a factor of 4 to 1 and leaves Rooney and Gerrard trailing in his wake.

The Icons Chairman said:

“UK football fans love Spanish football and Messi in particular. He’s the neutral’s favourite with most football lovers now agreeing he is the best in the world, if not the best ever. The UK public has fallen in love with him.”

“Everyone wants to be close to greatness and by owning a signed Messi shirt then you’ve got the world’s very best. When Icons.com says ‘signed by the world’s best’, we mean it.”

Icons also sell its memorabilia in Harrods where the Argentinian legend outsells otherplayers by 5 to 1. Icons.com now sell his shirts to 78 countries around the world.

The company stocks ten Messi products including a signed and framed Barcelona 2011/12 home shirt; a dual signed Barcelona 2011/12 home shirt with Andrés Iniesta; a signed Adidas boot and a selection of signed iconic photographs of the great man in action.

Messi’s range of signed memorabilia outsold Icons range of other products - signed by the likes of Kaka, Robin Van Persie, Luis Saurez, Andres Iniesta and even Diego Maradona - by the bucket load between April 2011 and April 2012.

Freedman added:

“Does this mean UK football fans are getting less tribal and more sophisticated? That remains to be seen. But it does show how strong the Barcelona and Messi brands have become. They are setting new standards for the game and, in turn, reinventing the football memorabilia market.”

You can view and buy Icons’ range of signed products at www.icons.com.

For more information on this product, or Icons.com, or for interviews with Edward Freedman, please contact Ben Lee on blee@hardhat.co.uk or 07961 820 579.


1. Sales figures through Icons.com from April 2011 and April 2012:

Player - Team / Nation = Units sold

  • Leo Messi - Barcelona, Argentina = 2021
  • Cristiano Ronald - Real Madrid, Portugal = 496
  • Robin Van Persie - Arsenal, Holland = 481
  • Kaka - AC Milan, Brazil = 477
  • Luis Suarez - Liverpool, Uruguay = 409
  • Andrés Iniesta - Barcelona, Spain = 386
  • Steven Gerrard - Liverpool, England = 365
  • Wayne Rooney - Man Utd, England = 274
  • Diego Maradona - Argentina = 261
  • Fernando Torres - Chelsea, Spain = 254
  • 2. Icons has been in business since 1999. Icons is one of the oldest memorabilia operators in the country, if not the world.
    3. Edward Freedman has over 40 years experience in the retail industry and in the late 80s was Managing Director of Tottenham Hotspur. He then moved to Manchester United and became Managing Director ofManchester United Merchandising from 1992 onwards. Over the next six years he transformed the commercial side of the club's operation and built Manchester United into the biggest brand in world football. He was also a key player in the formation of the Premier League and was hailed by The Economist as "football's merchandising guru".
    4. Icons.com are an international brand and supply to well over 70 countries each year and haverepresentatives in North America and regularly supply customers in Japan, Australia and the Middle East.
    5. Icons.com employs the highest standards in the signed football merchandise industry to assure customers of the authenticity of its products. At each event, photographs document each signature and Icons creates a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for each item including the date and venue and a picture of the product and the signing image. Each product carries a uniquely coded Icons hologram whose identical twin is added to the COA which is signed by the Icons Managing Director.
    6. Icons were awarded the world's first ever signed football memorabilia license by FIFA in 2010. This summer Icons has been awarded the first ever official license for the UEFA Champions League.
    7. Icons have partnered with Sky Sports’ Revista De La Liga programme for years now. They are also now the official partner of the Abu Dhabi Media Company who own the rights to the Premier League throughout the Middle East.
    8. Icons also run regular promotions with the likes of Sky Sports, The Blizzard, 442 and GuillemBalague.com.
    9. A Spanish version of the Icons website is available for Spanish fans.

    Icons.com launches on Google +

    by Dan 2. March 2012 12:13
    Check out the new Icons home page on Google +. This will allow lots of customersa and friends of Icons from around the world to interact with us more directly. Join today and add us to your circle.

    Icons on Google Plus

    Follow Icons on Twitter too @icons_football

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    Leo Messi: Genuinely the World's Best

    by Al 12. January 2012 08:44

    For Barcelona and Argentina's Leo Messi, life at the pinnacle of his profession is becoming routine. Winner of the Ballon d'Or for the third year in a row, there is no questioning his status as the world's best player. The 24-year-old has signed exclusively for Icons since 2006, and our relationship has gone from strength to strength ever since. The world's best player and the home of signed football memorabilia. It makes for a dream partnership.

    We first met with Leo Messi as an 18-year-old on May 5th, 2006. The little Argentinian made his debut for both Barcelona and his country the previous season, but had made fewer than 30 first-team appearances in total. It was still more than enough to convince us he had a huge future. Below is a photo of Leo at that first ever signing in Barcelona. Since that day we have conducted six more exclusive signing sessions together. (We have also improved our photography skills considerably!)

    Messi's footballing brilliance is not easy to put into words, suffice to say he is beyond hyperbole. A devastating combination of breathtaking speed and power, close control, and extraordinary technical ability lands him in a league of his own. For all his talent, even the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo cannot get close. So inevitable was Messi's Ballon d'Or triumph that the Portuguese didn't even bother to attend at the ceremony in Zurich.

    Messi's hat-trick of Ballon d'Or awards coincides with three consecutive La Liga wins for Barcelona. It's no coincidence. Since the beginning of the 2008/09 season, Messi has fired a remarkable 169 goals in 187 Barcelona appearances, with dozens of assists to boot. Never before has a player dominated world football quite like this at the tender age of 24. He has become only the fourth player to win the Ballon d'Or three times, alongside legends Marco van Basten, Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff. Messi will eclipse them all.

    Along with dozens of individual accolades, Messi has accumulated five La Liga titles, three Champions League wins and a Copa del Rey. Indeed, the only piece of silverware missing from his sparkling CV is a World Cup with Argentina. At 24, however, he has time on his side. He will get further chances to emulate the feats of Pele and Diego Maradona at international level. In terms of pure ability though, he is more than a match for the pair of them already.

    "Off the pitch I am just normal," said Messi in Zurich. And he's right. Humble, unassuming and polite, he is a pleasure to work with. On the pitch, however, he is unlike any footballer the world has ever seen.

    Our most recent meeting with Leo came on December 5th of last year, just over a month ago (pictured below). You can view our fantastic range of personally signed Messi products - including home and away shirts, boots and photos - here.

    Follow Icons on Twitter and Facebook for news on our signings, and a chance to win amazing signed football memorabilia!

    New Icons Facebook Store!

    by Al 7. October 2011 11:02

    Visit the brand new Icons Facebook Store HERE! Browse through our products and 'like' your favourites!

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    Icons Legend of the Week #2: Paul Scholes

    by Finbarr 20. July 2011 06:51

    In the second in our series of Legends, we've continued the Best of British theme from our sale. Who else could we have chosen, but Paul Scholes... 

    The Premier League has earned its reputation as the world's most entertaining for a number of reasons. There is the speed of play, the energy of the game, the passion of the fans and the commitment of the players. But on technical terms, it's often been regarded as inferior to La Liga and Serie A.

    The same things that the league has been praised for, though, have been used to criticise the kind of players the country produces. Occasionally, the mould is broken. Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney, in recent years, are England players that wouldn't look out of place in the red of Spain. But before them, there was Paul Scholes.

    That's not to say the Oldham schemer didn't embody some of the cherished aspects of our game. In a Manchester United shirt, there were few who have given more to the cause than Scholes. But he combined it with a once in a generation elegance, vision and class that drew praise from other legends of the game.

    Sir Bobby Charlton, who many consider to be the greatest United player of all, described Scholes as "in many ways my favourite United player." Xavi Hernandez, arguably the most talented midfielder in the world, said: "In the last 15 to 20 years the best midfielder that I have seen - the most complete - is Scholes. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything."

    High praise indeed, but not unwarranted. Scholes started and finished his career at Old Trafford and over the course of 17 years, won every club honour in the game. 

    His breathtaking range of passing, clever movement, eye for goal and the general intelligence of his play were instrumental in the helping restore the glory days to Manchester United. Alongside the bite of Roy Keane, the darting runs of Ryan Giggs and the devastating impact of Cristiano Ronaldo, Scholes has been ever present, quietly and graciously earning plaudits.

    The toils of the England national side at major tournaments have been frustrating for many, but the retirement of Scholes from the international game at an early age should be a source of chagrin for everyone. 

    In an attempt to accommodate both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the midfield, Scholes was shunted out on the left wing by Sven-Goran Eriksson. This 'square pegs in round holes' formula failed (under successive managers) and when Scholes announced his international retirement at only 29 in 2004, many attributed it to this perceived oversight.

    When Fabio Capello asked Scholes to reconsider his decision in time for the 2010 World Cup, it was just desserts for the most talented midfielder of his generation. Scholes, though, stuck to his guns; dogged as ever.

    He retired after the 2011 Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona after scoring 150 goals in 676 games for United and 14 in 66 for England. Sir Alex Ferguson's search to replace him starts now, but it remains to be seen whether he will ever find anyone to fill the gap left behind by the little ginger kid from Oldham.

    The times, they are a changin'...

    by Finbarr 14. July 2011 09:45

    Trifon Ivanov: Potential Twivial Hirsute?

    We're delighted to announce a series of new initiatives that we'll be incorporating into our various online media as of this week.

    You may have noticed our increased presence on Twitter and Facebook recently. Along with our blog, we'll be using these channels to publish and promote some great new regular features.

    Every Thursday, we'll be posing a question to our Twitter followers in homage to the bewhiskered legends of the beautiful game. Twivial Hirsute starts today and you'll find the question in our Twitter feed. 

    We at Icons have a longstanding history of signing goal machines. To mark this, we're delighted to introduce the Forward Friday feature to our blog. At the end of every week, we're going to run a profile, history and all round celebration of one of the great hitmen from our archive. Be sure to let us know who you'd like to be featured - who are your favourite strikers?

    Earlier this week, we kicked off our Legend of the Week feature. Every Tuesday, we'll be running a profile of one of our most iconic signees so again, get in touch and tell us who you think we should be featuring! This week, we kicked off with Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

    So have a read and we hope you enjoy the new look, interactive Icons format!

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    Icons at Total Football Show 2011

    by Finbarr 4. July 2011 10:28

    The Icons team are delighted to announce our presence at the Total Football Show, taking place later this week in Telford, Shropshire. We'll be at stand E1 of the expo, which will also be attended by such football luminaries as Gary Speed, Ade Akinbiyi, Kevin Phillips and Steve Bull. Icons will be taking a full range of signed merchandise, available at fantastic prices. The event, which runs from 8th - 10th of July, will feature guest talks by the aforementioned players, as well as referees' chief Keith Hackett, former Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee and Walsall coach Dean Smith. 

    As well as having the chance to pick up some great merchandise and advice from the seminars, attendees will be able to watch two underage football tournaments and participate in twice daily coaching sessions. It really is a carnival of football for those who can't wait for the beginning of the new season. Tickets are available from Ticket Web and are priced at £7.50 for adults and £4 for concessions. Further information on the event is available on the official website, where the event organisers are also giving away a signed Iniesta shirt, courtesy of Icons. Come on down to say hello to the Icons team at stand E1 and get to see some of the great products on our website first hand. See you there!

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    Leo Messi And Icons - the world's best in their fields

    by Dan 16. June 2011 12:38
    Icons have been conducting exclusive signing sessions with Leo Messi since 2006. The season before Leo had made his debut for Barcelona and at the end of the 05/06 season he was part of the Champions League winning Barcelona squad, but didn't actually play in the Final against Arsenal. Here's a photo from our first signing with Leo, as you can see we've improved our photography skills over the years!

    Icons have now done five signings with Leo and seen his meteoric rise to become widely acknowledged as the best player in the world. Here are some of the signing photos from the various sessions we've had with him.

    Barcelona April 2008

    Barcelona April 2009

    Barcelona September 2009

    Leo was a little busy in 2010 playing in the World Cup and scoring 47 goals for Barcelona so we were delighted to meet up with him again in May 2011. Amazingly Leo was able to fit a signing session in with Icons in the week leading up to the Champions League Final at Wembley. Despite the chaos caused by the ash cloud we pulled off the signing with the world's number one player, just before he reminded everyone of his talents in the final.

    Such is the popularity of Leo we sold out of his signed Barcelona shirts in 17 days. Another record broken by Leo. This is on the back of winning his third Champions League, his fifth La Liga title and becoming the first man to top score in the three consecutive Champions League seasons.

    At the end of the 2011 season he had scored 53 goals in only 55 games and seems destined to be crowned World Player of the Year for the third time this December. What a player and what an icon.

    Sign up to the icons newsletter to be the first to hear of future signings with Leo. He only signs for us and we know he values the faith Icons had in his talents back in 2006. Long may this successful relationship continue.

    Icons and FourFourTwo - two shamelessly passionate websites

    by Dan 11. February 2011 09:28
    Icons has had a long-standing relationship with the good people at FourFourTwo, in the old days we used to supply them with editorial content now we're supply them with fantastic signed football memorabilia.

    This month they're doing a feature on the contenders for the Champions League places - Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Spurs so we're giving away prizes of signed stuff from great player, past and present of these clubs. Check out the competition here and go and buy your copy of FourFourTwo today.

    10% off Arena Flowers for all Icons Customers

    by Dan 8. February 2011 13:07
    Doh! Forgotten to get your loved one anything for Valentine's Day? In a cold-sweat and need a quick solution?

    Well help is at hand. Icons have teamed up with Arenaflowers.comthe blooming best online flower store in the world, to offer 10% off their lovely bouquets, bunches and balloons to all panic-striken football fans out there. The clock is ticking and it needs to get there by Monday so go, go go, get your discount here if you ever want her to get you that signed football memorabilia present you've always wanted but were afraid to ask for.

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    About Icons Memorabilia

    Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

    We love what we do so we'll also be talking about what's going on in the world of football and sport in general.

    We'd really appreciate your feedback and comments too.

    Cheers - The icons.com team.

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