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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.

    A Year in Review: Luis Suarez

    by Al 2. December 2011 05:27

    2011 has been a whirlwind for Liverpool's explosive striker Luis Suarez. Following his £22.7m transfer from Dutch champions Ajax in January, Suarez has established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in the Premier League and a worthy proprietor to Liverpool's iconic no7 shirt. This week we met up with the Uruguayan hotshot in London for our second signing session together. 

    An unspectacular return of 11 goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool in 2011 does not tell the full story for Suarez. Boundless energy and enthusiasm combined with outstanding skill and technique have made him a Kop favourite. The fiery Uruguayan was an instant hit at Anfield, scoring 16 minutes into his debut against Stoke City in February. He has been Liverpool's shining light all year. He further endeared himself to Kopites with his first Merseyside derby goal against Everton in a 2-0 win in October.

    Suarez has never been a character to shy away from the spotlight, and since his move to England he has made for compulsive viewing. Goals continue to arrive sporadically for the Uruguayan, but he has been at the heart of Liverpool's finest moments this year. When the ball is not at his feet, he is usually furiously barking orders at teammates or madly sprinting after lost causes. He has tireless endeavour to match sublime talent, and he has become one of the most entertaining (and controversial) players around.

    While trophies at Liverpool remain a work in progress, Suarez has already tasted glory with Uruguay in 2011 at the Copa America in Argentina. One of the stars of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Suarez was similarly effective this summer in Argentina. He was named Player of the Tournament and scored four goals in total, including a brace in the semi-final against Peru and one in the final against Paraguay. His excellent form at international level continued when he sensationally netted all four of Uruguay's goals as they beat Chile 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier in early November. He now boasts 26 goals in 52 games for Uruguay, and it's surely only a matter of time before the floodgates open at Liverpool too.

    We held our first signing with Luis back in March of this year, and we were delighted to catch up with him for a second time this week. Check out our superb new range of signed products from the Liverpool star.

    The famous no7 shirt

    Brand new Adidas boot

    Trademark goal celebration

    To view the full range click here

    Forward Friday: El Niño, Fernando Torres

    by Al 28. October 2011 08:49

    Chelsea's Fernando Torres is finally putting his nightmare start at Stamford Bridge behind him. The £50m man only managed one goal in 18 appearances for the Blues last term, but a new season has heralded a new start, and with four goals and three assists in nine games so far, Torres returns from suspension against Arsenal this Saturday with restored confidence and a point to prove.

    Torres has looked an altogether different animal this season, prompting manager André Villas-Boas and teammates alike to hail his improved performances and renewed hunger in front of goal. Chelsea boast a formidable glut of striking talent, but if the former Liverpool man can recapture his Anfield form, he will be confident of keeping the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge out of the team.

    The Spaniard took the Premier League by storm after his £21m transfer from Atlético Madrid to Rafa Benitez's Liverpool in 2007. Torres emerged as one of Europe's brightest young talents in the Spanish capital, and after making his debut at the age of 17, 'El Niño' became Atlético's youngest ever club captain two years later. By the time he departed the Vicente Calderón, Torres had hit an impressive 82 goals in 214 appearances.

    It was at Anfield, however, that he truly blossomed. Allying pace and strength with deadly finishing and intelligent movement, Torres surpassed Ruud van Nistelrooy's record for the highest scoring debut season from a foreign import in the Premier League, with 24 goals. He quickly became a Kop favourite and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in successive seasons. 

    It was only after Rafa Benitez's departure from Liverpool in the summer of 2010 that Torres began to consider his future. The side struggled under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson, and when Chelsea came in for him in the 2011 January transfer window, a disillusioned Torres was able to complete an acrimonious transfer away from the club. At £50m, Torres set a new British transfer record and became the fourth most expensive player in history.

    After a difficult start at Chelsea, Torres now looks set to become the focal point of the Blues' attack. The signings of fellow Spaniards Juan Mata - with whom Torres has already combined to devastating effect - and former Barcelona youngster Oriel Romeu have helped him settle in London, and his improved morale has sparked a string of encouraging performances.

    At international level, Torres has scored 27 goals in 89 appearances for Spain, and has featured in every major tournament since Euro 2004. Among his career highlights is his man of the match performance and winning goal in Spain's 1-0 victory in the Euro 2008 final. Torres is, of course, a World Cup winner too, but his involvement for Spain in South Africa was hindered by a lack of fitness after an injury-disrupted 2009/10 season with Liverpool.

    Things are looking up for a resurgent Torres though, and when Chelsea welcome London rivals Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, he will be the man charged with breaking the Gunners down. Suddenly, he's looking like someone Chelsea can rely on.


    Check out our fantastic range of personally signed Torres products here, and to keep up with Icons, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

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    Copa America competition winner with his prize!

    by Al 2. August 2011 10:07

    Congratulations to the young winner of our Copa America competition!

    Ryan Allison, 13, correctly predicted that Uruguay would win the Copa America before the group stages had even kicked off. Ryan is now the proud owner of a Leo Messi signed Adidas F50 boot. Here he is with his prize!

    With Liverpool Icon Luis Suarez on fire throughout the tournament, Uruguay claimed their first Copa America title since 1995 after defeating Paraguay 3-0 in the final in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Thank you to everyone who entered. With more giveaways and competitions to follow, make sure you keep your eyes peeled and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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.

    Luis Suarez: Icon in the making

    by Dan 21. March 2011 12:55
    Luis Suarez's impact at Anfield is already substantial: a debut goal inside 16 minutes, a classic turn to set up a goal against West Ham, a now legendary dribble round the entire Manchester United defence and a cracker against Sunderland at the weekend. Not only that but his arrival on Merseyside seems to have lifted the team and all the supporters as they look forward to a brighter future. This all adds up to an impressive start by the livewire Uruguayan.

    Icons is always the first to bring you signed products by the world's greatest players, and it's now time to add Luis to that list. He's sure to be a fans' favourite at Liverpool for years to come, so get yourself a piece of Suarez signed memorabilia today and you can say you were first to spot an icon in the making.

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    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.

    Real Madrid First Galacticos Era

    by Dan 14. October 2009 07:43

    As you know icons.com is the world's leading supplier of signed football memorabilia. We've been meeting with world's best players for nearly 10 years now and bringing our customers the best quality products out there.

    We were looking back in the archive of our signing photos throughout those 10 years and found these classics from the first Galactico era of Floretino Perez at Real Madrid. Back then we conducted numerous signings with the top players from that team.

    Check out the signing photos of the orginal Ronaldo - the World Cup's greatest goalscorer of all-time


    We also met the first of Perez's signings, Portuguese legend Luis Figo - signed from arch-rivals Barcelona for a then record transfer fee of £38.7m.


    Icons.com also conducted a signing session with the best attacking full back of his era, Roberto Carlos, scorer of possibly the best free kick of all-time

    and World Cup winner in 2002.

    And as we were meeting all three of these superstars within a few months of each other we were able to create one of the most unique products we've ever had - a triple-signed Real Madrid Galatico photo.

    As we only ever had limited supplies of these products they all sold out extremely quickly so unfortunately we don't have any more of them available.

    However in a World Cup year there's always the possibility of new signings with these legends.

    And if we were ever able to arrange signings with Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham the people who had signed up to the icons.com newsletter would certainly be the first to know. Watch this space.

    Real Madrid New Galacticos Era

    by Dan 14. October 2009 07:00

    Icons.com have also done a number of signing sessions with the two main Real MadridGalacticos from the second coming of Senor Perez - Cristiano Ronaldo...

    And Brazilian superstar Kaka.

    And after Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005, icons.com also had the pleasure of meeting up with Xavi Alonso, the last of Real's summer signings.

    We obviously undertook these signing sessions when they were playing for their old clubs, Manchester United,Liverpool and AC Milan, and as you can imagine we have a good relationship with the players and their representatives so we're working overtime to arrange new signings with them at their new club.

    Sign up to the icons.com newsletter to be the first to find out and check out all the Galatico signing photos on our Flickr page.

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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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