GameStop issues $25,000 bounty for 1/1 Lionel Messi Panini sticker

Bounty is first for gaming retailer since it began accepted PSA-graded cards for cash

Cover Image for GameStop issues $25,000 bounty for 1/1 Lionel Messi Panini sticker
A blue parallel version of the Lionel Messi Panini Copa America sticker is pictured above. GameStop is offering a $25,000 bounty for the1/1 Black border version.

GameStop has announced a $25,000 bounty for the Lionel Messi 1/1 Panini CONMEBOL Copa América #ARG19 Black border sticker, making its first big splash in the trading card market since the gaming retailer announced it would begin accepting PSA-graded trading cards for cash in May.

"Not too long ago, GameStop doubled down by including Graded Collectables into its Buy-Sell-Trade ecosystem across 3,000 stores in the U.S.," the company wrote in a blog post Friday evening. "Power to the Players has always and will always be top of mind for GameStop and it’s time for the community of Trading Card players, and sports collectors to feel empowered too.

The sticker hails from the album produced for the ongoing Copa América tournament was released in March, featuring a total of 430 stickers of the biggest stars competing int he tournament, including limited-edition parallels randomly inserted in packs, including the coveted Black 1/1.

"As with most collectibles, especially cards/stickers, condition is important. This Messi #ARG19 black 1/1 sticker must grade a PSA 6 or higher," GameStop wrote.

Among the most sought-after chases from the set include parallels of Messi 1/1 and 17-year-old Brazilian phenom Endrick.

Stickers have long been a coveted collectible for soccer fans, with sets from previous tournaments, such as the World Cup, serving as beloved and valuable products for many who seek to complete full sets in albums.

This release from Panini is also significant in its inclusion of rare parallels, the first time this has been done for a Copa América set.

"Panini has as one of its main responsibilities and characteristics to tell the best stories of sports in a way that captivates collectors. We have no doubt that this edition of the CONMEBOL Copa América USA 2024™ will be historic, and we want to help all fans record their emotions and memories forever with this great album," said Martina Limoni, marketing director of Panini in Latin America, in a release.

In some cases, stickers out-sell cards in terms of value. A rare black border parallel of Messi from the 2022 World Cup sticker set sold for more than $120,000 last year.

The bounty will be live until the end of the calendar year.

Will Stern is a reporter and editor for cllct.