Derek Jeter’s business portfolio grew a bit bigger on Thursday as it was announced he was a founding partner of a new sports card collecting platform called Arena Club.
Jeter teamed up with entrepreneur Brian Lee, Arena Club co-founder and CEO, to launch the business. The platform will serve as a "bridge" between the long-lasting sports card collecting hobby and the up-and-coming world of digital sports collectibles. Collectors will be able to buy, sell, trade and display their cards through a digital showroom.
"I am proud to be part of the team at Arena Club and to work closely with Brian to bring this innovative platform to life," Jeter said in a news release. "We recognize that there is a real need in the grading industry for clarity, speed and trust, and Brian has put together a team that is committed to providing that to the marketplace."
Arena Club also plans to enter the card-grading space through "computer vision and machine learning." The company said its grading process vows to be "quicker, more accurate and transparent."
Collectors who choose to get their items graded via Arena Club will either have their product stored in the Arena Club vault or receive slabs – similar to what they would get through PSA or Beckett.
Lee was the co-founder and president of LegalZoom.com and has been the managing partner of BAM Ventures since 2017.
"Arena Club was built by a team of trading card enthusiasts who created the platform with the hobby community in mind," he said in a news release. "From top to bottom, our team is honest, ethical and fair. Arena Club will transform the collectible world through transparency, authenticity and technology."
Jeter stepped down from the Miami Marlins’ front office before the start of the 2022 season. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, receiving 99.75% of the vote from baseball writers.
In his post-playing career, Jeter started The Players’ Tribune, had investment interests in the Whistle Sports Network, joined the board of Rockefeller Capital Management, and launched an apparel brand called Greatness Wins.
Jeter’s net worth is reportedly around $200 million.