U.S. Sports Memorabilia: A Market Worth $5.4 Billion Annually

Talking about sports memorabilia immediately makes people think about a souvenir, memento, or a token of remembrance connected to a famous athlete or sporting event. Some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in the world are sports fanatics, which is evident in their deep passion for collecting such prized possessions.

People who collect sports memorabilia find a connection to the players and tournaments they love, even long after the person has passed or when the game has ended. Having a keepsake in their hands helps them remember those mind-blowing memories again, which many sports fanatics define as one of the best moments in their life, regardless if they watched the game live or on television. Although the average fan may wear a replica of their favorite team’s jersey to show support, a hardcore collector will never be content with anything less than the authentic apparel that covered the very back of Babe Ruth. 

What is sports memorabilia?

Do you own a high-in-demand pair of boxing gloves that Muhammad Ali wore during his most astounding rounds? Maybe an autographed jersey from David Beckham, or Joey Meyer’s home run ball from 1987? Did your great grandfather attend and took a never-before-seen photograph when the Yankees won their first-ever World Series in 1923? Or perhaps, you possess a rare Babe Ruth home run ball? These are some examples of sports memorabilia that would have substantial value due to their historical significance.

What are the types of sports memorabilia?

The many different items considered to be sports memorabilia include vintage trading sports cards; team jerseys, signed autographs on balls, bats, helmets, and other sports equipment; all gear used in the game, such as flags, turf, bats, and balls; and even an entire NASCAR race car. NASCAR is an engrossing zone of the sports collectible world. Many collectors long for a unique variety of merchandise ranging from leather jackets, toy cars, metal parts or tires from popular cars, and even a piece of concrete from race tracks. And because of the increasing popularity of car racing, collectors from all over the world can’t seem to get enough of NASCAR memorabilia.

To boot, vintage sports cards sold before 1969—with exceptions to a few modern articles, such as the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky and 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan—are also high-value momentos. Other sports cards from the non-vintage times are valuable as well, which include complete sets, sealed cases, and wax boxes. However, most collectible items in the modern market, which encompasses Funko Pop figurines, promotional bobbleheads, customized glasses, and gold plated cards do not possess significant value since they are mass-produced.

Why are collectors so passionate about sports memorabilia?

A person’s collection will reflect their connection to life-changing moments in sports history. From a particular athlete’s personal sports card displaying the various awards they’ve won to a jersey an athlete wore during a remarkable moment in sports history—each irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind item a collector gets their hands on represents a piece of history preserved.

These collectibles also make amazing “man cave” decorations for sports aficionados. Owning genuine sports memorabilia is the ultimate status symbol and proof of devotion to sports.

Is sports merchandise a lucrative market?

The market for sports collectibles is more profitable than most people would believe. Although many collectors have a sentimental attachment to their sports memorabilia, a few others prefer to buy and sell sports collectibles in Phoenix, AZ for profit. Autographed memorabilia, in most cases, command higher prices than non-autographed items. For example, Hersh Borenstein—a known memorabilia dealer—bought 800 autographs from Maurice Rocket Richard for 7 dollars a piece in 2000, just shortly before his death on May 27, 2000. By the time Borenstein sold the last few autographs in 2005, the asking price had increased to a whopping 199 dollars apiece. 

To be a worthy collectible, however, the memorabilia should be in flawless condition since it is a major investment. The older, more historically significant, and well-kept a sports collectible is, the higher price it will fetch.

Special cases are available for protecting memorabilia from harm and environmental damage. If a reputable appraisal company such as Biltmore Loan and Jewelry has analyzed, approved, and authenticated a sports memorabilia, then that information will help determine the sale value of the possession. Whether it’s an extensive collection of sports cards or a few rare pieces from a diversified asset portfolio, knowing the true value of a memorabilia can help the collector make a fortune. After all, the U.S. sports memorabilia market is worth 5.4 billion dollars annually.

What other factors determine the value of autographed memorabilia?

To uncover the market price and value of a sports memorabilia, several different factors come into play. The most noteworthy criteria in determining the value of an autographed piece is the type of object signed and the credits of the athlete who affixed their signature. The level of fame and success the athlete achieved has a significant effect on how sought-after a memorabilia becomes, as well as how valuable it is to the collector. Another factor that affects the worth of an autographed collectible is the frequency a particular athlete signs memorabilia throughout their career.

Former professional baseball left fielder Barry Bonds, for instance, is notorious for avoiding autograph signings. His constant refusal to sign autographs is a cause of disappointment for most fans, but if you are a dedicated collector, then you would know that a signed souvenir from the legendary Barry Bonds is one of the most coveted collectibles due to its rarity.

It’s Time to Cash in Your Valuable Sports Memorabilia 

If you are a proud owner of signed jerseys, balls, bats, helmets, gloves, or any of the collectibles mentioned in this article, you can convert them into cash when you sell your sports memorabilia for profit here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry, or use them as collateral for a loan. Complete this online form now to request a free market appraisal. You can also call us at 480-705-5626 (Chandler, AZ) or 480-991-5626 (Scottsdale, AZ) to set an appointment at your convenience.