Playing ball in multi-billion dollar sports collectible market

Craig McKelvie

  • Sunday 22, March 2020 12:47 PM
  • Playing ball in multi-billion dollar sports collectible market
If you’re a sports fan, there’s no greater thrill than watching that game-winning moment that propels your favourite team into the winners’ bracket. Unless of course, you are the owner of the game-winning ball or jersey autographed by the player who scored the winning goal or points!
Collecting sports memorabilia can be an exciting hobby. You have the opportunity to own a piece of history and relive its significance. Plus, you’ll always have something to discuss at parties and your piece could also be a great investment - according to Forbes, the sports memorabilia industry is currently valued at $27.5 billion of the global market and will reach a colossal $47.2 billion within the coming five years.

So, how do you play ball in this multi-billion dollar sports collectable market?

As mentioned collecting sports memorabilia is a hobby, but, let's face it, it can be very difficult not to think about the financial rewards that may lie ahead. With the current uncertainty of the stock market, many collectors and investors are spending extra income on sports memorabilia. Are they wrong for doing so? Well, the answer is not a simple one, but I believe that if they are educated collectors and have a passion for the material, they will come out ahead in the long run. So what are the steps to educating yourself? Watch your players like you might monitor the stock market. Keep an eye on trends and current trading prices and remember not to spread yourself too thin. Collecting is all about the thrill of the hunt, the capture, and sometimes the release. Let us not forget the part in the middle when we enjoy that newly acquired item by placing it on a wall, telling our fellow collectors about it, and sometimes speculating about what it may be worth in the years to come.

I follow the sports memorabilia market very closely and have seen steady financial reward across the market. The high quality, high-grade items increase in value much more so than the low quality, low-grade items. This is only natural as we refer back to the old saying "You get what you pay for." Game-used equipment is one area of the hobby that has undergone tremendous growth within the past few years.

Look out for the biggest names in the “game” - think superstars who transcend sports. Secondly, choose memorabilia that is attributed to “exclusive clubs” within their own sports, and held or hold significant records in their representative sports. Third, look out for pieces from retired sporting heroes, 20 years is the sweet spot. That means that the "sporting item" that they used is the only one/s that will ever be on the market. Ultimately, the hobby of collecting sports memorabilia is fun and you get to own a piece of history!

You do need to watch out for fakes. Just like any other collectables industry, sports memorabilia is also full of fakes and forgeries. Take steps to protect yourself from losing money on counterfeit merchandise. Remember to be on the lookout for a seller’s reputation and his or her inventory. Ask to see the item in person or for certificates of authentication. This is such an important piece of advice and ultimately the only way to ensure authenticity - there are now companies like The BootRoom Collection who take this worry away from you. And, finally, remember if the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

With this in mind, signed merchandise is always a solid foundation when buying pieces within the collectables market. What better way to increase the value both emotionally and financially than having memorabilia signed. At the Bootroom Collection, one of our key differentials is having a QR code that allows customers to see the moment their piece was signed. We take them back to the day of the signing and can show imagery and in some cases video, of when Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi were signing a shirt for example. That digital aspect is hugely important because now people don’t need a certificate of authenticity with a signature that could be anyone and a picture that could be from any time. It is the most fundamental piece of our brand – to create trust and confidence.

For more information and to find out about new product launches, in-store events and exclusive offers, follow The BootRoom Collection on Instagram @TheBootRoomCollection.

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