When some people hear “sports memorabilia,” they probably think of the ultra-expensive pieces in museums or private collections of the wealthy. In reality, the term can encompass anything from the first bat a child hits a home run with to signed soccer jerseys from renowned professional players. Collectors and sports enthusiasts use sports memorabilia to relive impactful moments in their lives and savor the memories.
Where To Buy Sports Memorabilia
While the world of sports memorabilia is primarily full of enthusiasts and fans, newcomers and collectors alike should keep an eye out for replicas trying to pass as the real deal. Resellers do exist, and items from sports legends carry a particularly hefty price tag.
A way to avoid getting scammed by resellers is to find a reputable dealer. Several companies in the market have contracts with athletes to be the only sellers of their verified autographed items. If a collector is looking for memorabilia related to specific players, researching to see if they have one of these contracts is how to find authentic items.
Some companies, like Sports Integrity, do the hard work of verifying their autographed memorabilia before putting them up for sale. However, deciding what to buy and how much to pay can still be challenging. So, why do people often go through an often long or vexing process to get sports memorabilia items?
It Can Be A Lucrative Investment
While most fans simply want a piece of history, there is also the potential to make money. Buying sports memorabilia frequently means the buyer has an item that will grow in value over time. Anything from trading cards to a signed jersey can accrue significant monetary value. Some of the oldest baseball trading cards are over 100 years old and worth millions! Many people select sports memorabilia to resell it to the highest bidder in the future.
Experts and enthusiasts in the industry have realized that certain items can become more profitable after big career moments, such as:
- Winning championships or tournaments
- Earning titles or trophies (i.e., MVP, the Ballon d’Or, Rookie of the Year, etc.)
- Being inducted into a Hall of Fame
For instance, signed football jerseys from NFL players like Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, or Aaron Rodgers can already have expensive price tags. Once they retire, fans who own their jerseys could make a pretty penny should they decide to sell.
Trends show that autographed items grow substantially more treasured in the upsetting event of a player’s death. Even small, less-expensive tokens have the potential to gain even more value after an athlete has passed. Investing in sports memorabilia can be a waiting game with an enormous payout.
Future Generations Could Inherit It
Many collectors have children who share their interest in watching and playing sports. Acquiring sports memorabilia, like a signed jersey from a child’s favorite team, is an outstanding chance to cultivate and inspire their passion.
Additionally, when someone takes excellent care of their memorabilia, the condition of the items can survive for several decades. Children of collectors may help maintain the items in good condition and continue to appreciate them long after their parents. The items could even become family heirlooms and accrue staggering sentimental and monetary value. As more time passes, the greater the chance of similar items slowly disappearing or deteriorating – leaving the item in a family’s private collection as a rare piece in exceptional condition and raising its price tag.
It’s A Fun Hobby
Money is far from the only driving force behind the sports memorabilia industry. Billions of people every year go to games or watch them from home and grow connections with their favorite teams and players. Why not have physical representations of their passions?
Many professional athletes participate in autograph signing sessions for fans to come with photos, uniforms, or equipment to get signed by their favorite players. Every so often, they’ll even stick around after games to sign things for their fans. These are spectacular opportunities for sports enthusiasts to meet their idols and potentially take home a signed jersey or trading card.
Collecting sports memorabilia is a fantastic way to express one’s personality and admiration for their sport or team. Plenty of people curate their collections with themes such as:
- Signed football jerseys from Super Bowl winners
- Autographed baseballs they caught in the stands at home games
- Getting their favorite team to sign a specific item
Following a cohesive theme when acquiring items from teams and players one admires is a fun challenge that can be immensely gratifying.
It Can Inspire Great Conversation
If someone collects sports memorabilia, chances are they enjoy getting together with other fans to discuss current events and watch their teams play. Gathering in sports bars and restaurants with other local fans is an easy way to meet people with similar interests and bond over a shared passion for sports memorabilia.
It’s a common practice among fans to tailgate at home games or host watch parties at each other's houses. Say someone invites friends and family to their home to watch their home country’s soccer team play in the FIFA World Cup. Huge soccer fans may have signed soccer jerseys from past players displayed. Those jerseys can ignite a debate about the players’ stats and start a friendly competition among the guests, leading to a collection of funny moments while watching professionals make history. Sports memorabilia can bring people together just as much as the sports themselves.
It’s An Opportunity To Hold A Piece Of History
Humans have admired the triumphs and pitfalls of sports for millennia. Since the early 1900s, sports memorabilia has opened the door for fans of sports to collect items that commemorate their favorite sporting events and athletes.
Many people grow up playing sports and watching them with the hope of playing alongside some of their idols someday. While most fall short of going pro, fans grow and change alongside their teams and share the excitement when big wins happen. For example, owning a signed jersey or ball used by your team during a winning championship game is an incredible honor for many huge fans. An item like that holds exceptional sentimental value for those lucky enough to acquire it. Historic moments for their team or player can correlate with pivotal moments in a fan’s personal life, making their sports memorabilia all the more special to own.
While the monetary value of the sports memorabilia market continues to grow, the meaning of the items has been and always will be much greater. Collecting can be fun and lighthearted, or it can be a lifetime commitment to immortalize athleticism. Find authentic items that speak to you here at Sports Integrity.