Kobe Bryant fans will soon be able to purchase a tangible piece of the legendary Los Angeles Lakers player’s legacy. Collectibles investment platform Rally acquired a piece of the hardwood Bryant dropped 60 points in the last game of his career before bidding farewell to the Staples Center crowd with the famous “Mamba out!”
The court features the No. 8 and Bryant’s signature and will make 100,000 shares of the asset available to purchase in early March. Each share will cost $8 with Rally working on multiple ways investors can benefit from owning a piece of the equity beyond showing off a purchase receipt.
“We’ve been experimenting with some augmented reality, virtual reality, and some elements of bringing it to life inside your home or if you’re with a friend to be able to show them from your phone,” said Rob Petrozzo, Rally’s co-founder, in an exclusive interview with LakersNation.com.
Petrozzo hopes buyers will be able to see the court in person at their New York museum at some point this year or attend events such as roadshows featuring the hardwood.
Rally’s portfolio features some truly unique items: from vintage 1995 Ferrari F355 Spider, to a $107,500 bottle of ’09 Domaine Leroy Richebourg, the boots Muhammad Ali wore during his fights against Chuck Wepner in 1975, or the original version of a Harry Potter book with spelling errors and a different title.
Petrozzo says the company looks for items that “evoke emotion and reaction from people” but also have “longevity” and will stay relevant for an extended time. Rally prides itself in offering shares of a museum-quality version of objects with the most appreciation and attention on them that usually are available to the wealthy “select few.”
When coming up with the business idea for Rally, Petrozzo — together with his life-long friends Chris Bruno and Max Niederste-Ostholt — looked back at the many missed opportunities that prevented them from concretizing their passions in the past.
They realized adding items associated with the people or things they cared about to their investment portfolios was out of reach and decided to act upon it.
“There should be a way to own a piece of that without having to spend a million dollars,” Petrozzo said.
That is why Rally turned its attention to the hardwood from Bryant’s farewell game at Staples Center. Petrozzo said the game court “hit the checklist” when it came to the collectible’s provenance as well as association with one of the greatest NBA players in history – of legacy transcending basketball — and a momentous event from his career.
The sentimental value made the court a particularly unique item and an enticing venture as it would open up an opportunity for the vast group of Lakers fans to acquire a small piece of Bryant’s legacy.
“To take that and put on our platform is going to be really special,” Petrozzo thought.
The asset is a piece of the court around 96-by-50-foot big and of the total value of $800,000. Rally broke it into 100,000 shares, each technically being an SEC-qualified mini-company, and will open the initial offering on its app around the second week of March.
Petrozzo expects thousands of investors to get involved and potentially buy out the shares on the first day of trading. After a 90-day lock-up period, the owners can start trading their stocks through registered broker dealers within the app.
Rally will provide information on the story behind the hardwood and Bryant himself to educate the investors on the item they own and its profit potential. By doing so, Petrozzo says the group is blending together the two worlds of passion-led investment: enthusiasm and finance.
Petrozzo said the unique character of the hardwood made it particularly important for the group to maintain composure during the auction knowing that some wealthy individuals could act on emotions and quickly drive up the price of the court.
Rally had set a cap for the price point beyond which the platform’s science indicated the value of the asset would not match its “appreciation cycle.”
“If it got past that point it was something that, as much as I would have hated to see it go, we would have let it go,” Petrozzo said. “But I think it got to a point that we were really comfortable with and were able to make the acquisition.”
Interestingly, Rally didn’t know who they competed against during the auction. However, Petrozzo said those were individuals “with some really deep pockets” looking to add objects of such rarity to their private collections.
He added that considering the size of the court — unusually large for a collectible and an asset in general — there must have been very few serious investors, perhaps three or four rivaling buyers taking part in the auction.
“There’s only so many places you can put it,” he said.
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