Brandon Steiner has had no shortage of creative ideas for peddling memorabilia, from the touching to the tacky. But he still cherishes his first big hit: Newspaper back pages signed by Mark Messier after the 1994 Stanley Cup victory.
"Best deal I ever did in my life," Steiner said of his partnership with the former Rangers captain.
It was only one of many, with everyone from Walt Frazier to Derek Jeter to Eli Manning. Two dozen of his stars are to visit Steiner Sports’ headquarters in New Rochelle Dec. 3 through 5 to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary by signing collectibles that will raise money for charities selected by each athlete.
"I was just trying to be around for 25 days," Steiner said of a business that began in 1987 in a shared, 400-square foot office in Manhattan.
Initially Steiner focused on booking corporate appearances for current and former jocks, but after he quickly sold 1,000 balls signed by Mickey Mantle, he knew he was on to something. He has gone on to sell an array of items, including millions of dollars worth of stadium dirt.
"I've come up with a lot of quirky ideas because I thought people would like this stuff," he said. "It is humbling to know the way my brain works, it connects with people."