Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be signing autographs on Sunday at a mall in Charlotte and will charge as much as $225, according to Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer:
“It’s not a cheap hobby,” said Gary Takahashi, whose Hawaii-based company has Newton under a multi-year contract for autograph shows. His company will run the “for-profit” show at SouthPark. Saturday’s event is not a charitable endeavor and no one is pretending that it is. “We are not a charity,” Takahashi said. “We are a business.”
Takahashi told Fowler that people shouldn’t be mad because “no one is being forced to come.”
Newton will be one of three athletes to sign autographs on Sunday; Bo Jackson will charge as much as $100 for autographs and Larry Johnson will charge up to $65. Newton is charging $175 to autograph a jersey and another $50 if the buyer wants it personalized with a message.
Newton’s marketing agent, Carlos Fleming, said his agent decided to do the autographing session because of all of the fake sports memorabilia on the market:
“I’ve been with Cam before and he’s seen something with his name already on it and said, ‘That’s not my signature.’ I’ve seen 10-year-old girls begging him to sign a mini-helmet, and then you look behind them and they have a bag full of 20 more mini-helmets for different teams.”