University of Tampa student turns sports cards into an Instagram empire

Marc Franklin, known as "Prestige'' at card shows and online, formulated an idea to combine his love and knowledge of sports with his communication and broadcasting background. 

As the pandemic hit in March of 2020, Franklin was completing his senior year at the University of Tampa and began applying for full-time jobs to begin after graduation, however, his inner hustler wasn’t satisfied. He started up a sports podcast, but it still wasn’t paying the bills like he needed it to, so he investigated the sports card market and found a way to tap in. This is how Prestige Pullz Sports Cards was born.

When he was just 7 years old, Franklin collected all types of Philadelphia sports cards, professional sports cards, even Pokemon cards. Franklin explains how the pandemic and quarantine gave the sports card world a new market.

“Sports cards have been around for nearly 200 years, and it’s not like they went away. Cards have sold for thousands of dollars previously, but as people searched for new hobbies, organized their homes, and tried to make some money while out of work, the demand for sports cards grew exponentially. A lot of people spent their stimulus money on sports cards because most see it as an investment.”

The Prestige Pullz card breaking process begins with Franklin going live on Instagram. He describes whether the box is football or basketball, then sells either eight spots or 10 spots for the respective sports. The spots that you purchased are priced by how much the original box costs. The more expensive the box, the more expensive each spot is. Then, each buyer of a spot is assigned four random football teams, or three random basketball teams, depending on the type of box. When Franklin breaks a pack open, the cards featuring players who play for a team the buyer was assigned go to that buyer. These cards can range in value from $2 all the way to $2,000.

To keep his followers engaged and to attract new clients, Franklin has introduced Prestige Packz, alongside breaking sealed packs. This was a marketing move and a way for customers to get the opportunity to purchase cards they might not have otherwise been able to find. The Prestige Packz are mystery packs containing all types of cards and boxes, with a set price. 

Franklin credits Instagram for allowing him to reach people across the globe. 

“In nearly 7 months, I've grown to over 5,000 followers. 80 different people join me live every night, the number of viewers by the end of the night usually totals over 1,000. The card shows are the reason I have so many followers and why I have so many different card suppliers now. The shows bring my exposure to people I wouldn’t have necessarily come across on Instagram. People like to interact with me on my lives, they think I'm pretty entertaining. This is what sets me apart from the rest."

To learn more, see Marc Franklin and Prestige Pullz Sports Cards on Instagram.
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Read more articles by Emily Cortes.

Emily Cortes, a Massachusetts native, is a recent graduate of the University of Tampa. She will be continuing her education at UT, seeking a Master’s degree in Professional Communication. Emily has published many opinion editorials for the school newspaper, The Minaret, and enjoys reading and writing about political theory, popular culture, reality television, and entertainment. After earning her master’s, Emily plans to continue her education in law school with a focus on constitutional law. When she’s not writing or studying, you can almost always find her binge watching her favorite reality TV shows and documentaries.