Local Man Turns Passion into Profits - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Man Turns Passion into Profits

By Stephen Florino

HONOLULU (KHNL)- The Pro Bowl is the perfect time for autograph seekers. All of the NFL's brightest stars are all in one place.

One local man is so passionate about it, he turned it into a profitable business.

"I started off as a collector, and then I got to meet some players," said Gary Takahashi, president of GT Sports Marketing. "Never envisioned it would be like a business where you pay your bills."

Takahashi has athletes exclusive to his company.

"Reggie Bush, Tony Romo, LaDanian Tomlinson -- they're probably the top players in all of football, as far as popularity," said Takahashi.

That's just a few of them.

That means if you see one of their autographs for sale, it's probably from GTSM.

Most of his business comes at shows, like this weekend's Big Boy's Show at the Blaisdell. Athletes come and sign items for a fee. Takahashi says that beats chasing someone down.

"It's a lot of time involved," said Takahashi. "Some athletes don't sign, and you may sit around and get no autographs."

GTSM has grown to one of the biggest autographed sports memorabilia companies in the country. Takahashi says the business is constantly fluctuating, because of the athletes and their performance on the field.

"We got more winners than losers, but business is okay," said Takahashi.

But business is always good, when it's something you enjoy.

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