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The Press Box Sports

It’s time for Sage to Leave the Football Card Market

If you collected football cards at any time within the past eighteen years or so, chances are that you have at least several cards from Sage. They had a good selection of players all of whom were in college uniform and the cards looked great. Yes, Sage use to be a great option for football collectors, but not anymore. It seems that the loss of their NCAA licensing has caused the company to put out sub par product in recent years.

Since 2011, the quality of Sage Hit football cards dropped at an alarming rate. When the company produced its first football cards in 1999, the images of action shots of players in their college uniformed were appealing. These days, every card in production looks like something you could make on at home on a personal printer. They’re just too basic and they lack a good design. Even on their inserts and specialty cards. Sage use to provide a good selection of cards besides autos and inserts. The company also featured die cuts and memorabilia cards. Every football card Sage produces today just looks so cheap.

Sage football cards

Sage use to produce good memorabilia cards like this 2004 Philip Rivers Jersey Card.


Sage is also hurting the football card market by devaluing autographed cards. It seems that every year, the company pumps more and more auto cards into their retail and hobby boxes. Adding more autographed cards into the already over circulated market will call for less demand of the star players later on. With all of the auto cards that Sage puts in its products, the company could play a part in causing the whole sports card market to take another fall economically. Offering a bunch of auto cards in their retail and hobby boxes could’ve meant better value from the brand, but they’re just a bunch of poor quality cards with sticker autos on them. Sage is  trying to keep up with the larger companies like Topps and Panini, but are falling well short of that goal.

Sage Hit Football Cards

2008 Sage football cards still weren’t the best looking cards on the market, but they still had a nice design and offered plenty of information about the players.


Both retail and hobby boxes of Sage football cards are overpriced as well. When their product is released, retail boxes are priced and $20 and hobby boxes are priced at $100. The value of the cards doesn’t come close to  justifying those prices. When you have the option of buying better quality cards from Panini Contenders for around the same price, there is without a doubt no comparison. Contenders is going to win every time. Even though you can buy older boxes cheaper, I left Sage out of my football hobby boxes you can buy under $30 post for a reason. They’re still not worth it in my opinion. At least not in the past six years. Even Leaf who is another company that is struggling with football cards produces better quality cards at the same price range. Their Ultimate Draft and Metal products by far exceed anything that Sage produces.


2016 Sage autographed card. It just looks too basic and cheap. A poor effort in card design.

Sage just doesn’t produce a good football card product anymore and is proving all they care about is bilking collectors out of as much money as possible. If Sage would produce a card with better quality and stop overpricing their football card boxes, they could be a decent option. But if the company keeps going in their current direction, any collector who buys their product is just wasting their money. Sage use to be one of my favorite brands as I collect football and basketball players in college uniform, but I don’t even give their products a second look these days. Most collectors want to get the most bang for a buck and Sage football cards just doesn’t deliver like other card companies will.

Sage Football Cards

Die-cut cards like this 2000 Reuben Droughns is a nice looking card. One type that many collectors would be happy to display in their collection.

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