The $ 20,000 Ball: Confederations Cup

The $ 20,000 Ball: Confederations Cup
The Confederations Cup started. We told Internet portal Forbes about the subtleties of collecting sports memorials: what affects the price and where and how to buy.

Almost immediately after any game, signed sportsmen balls and t-shirts appear, which many fans put up for sale. Usually, they are sold for a relatively low amount- a ball signed by Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi can be purchased for around $1,000. Collectors are willing to give a lot of money for items with unique sports histories, however. This year, one of the most famous collectors of sports souvenirs put his collection up for auction. This collection, estimated at $250 million, included the cap Gertrude Ederle used to cross the English Channel in 1926, a baseball that caused Ray Champen his fatal injury in 1920 and an Mohammed Ali’s Olympic jacket from 1960. These items go for around $20,000 to $50,000. On June 11, at an auction in SCP specialized in sports, Michael Jordan’s Converse sneakers were sold for more than $190,000.

Baseball ball, which killed Ray Chapman in 1920.

Pricing Factors:

As a rule, fever among collectors comes around the time of sports seasons. For example, cheap Olympic Games souvenirs increase in price during competitions and afterwards become cheaper or leave the market. Even knowing this, collectors buy soft toys like talismans, flags, badges, and other small items for relatively high sums, despite knowing that during off-season, their prices will fall sharply. The same goes for the World Cup or Champions League. In 2016, just before the European Championships, Sotheby’s put up Geoff Hurst’s T-shirt (Hurst is the English national team striker who scored the legendary goal of the 1966 World Cup final, bringing them victory over Germany) with an estimate of £300,000-£500,000.

Swimming cap in which Gertrude Ederle crossed the English Channel in 1926

Traditionally, the age of the subject plays a significant role in determining sports artifact prices. The most expensive football today is a leather copy of “La Morocha” from Lisbon in 1870, with an estimated price of $20,000. Last but not least, names of athletes play a role in pricing- Pele’s personal items constantly float at auctions and go for high sums.

Jack Dempsey fighting glowes 1927.

Where to Buy:

For the most part, its small auction houses and online auctions that sell sport items. They usually collect trades for 2-6 months. In general, auctions are confined to certain sporting events of the current sporting season, but within the same auction you can often find items related to different sports. Thematic auctions are usually more frequent in the USA, selling or buying items related to basketball or baseball. Football comes in a more European direction, or more specifically, English. Sports auctions and Society of Collectors Sportingold are usually based in auction houses like SAS (Special Auction Services) in England. In addition, highly specialized portals such as the English Football Programs exclusively football related items, both from the 20th and current centuries.

Muhammad Ali olympic jacket 1961.

One of the upcoming auctions will be held on June 24 in Paris, where a collection of sports souvenirs will be presented by the Coutau Begarie auction house. Among these lots are original posters from 1920s-1930s competitions, with estimated worths of up to $10,000, and souvenirs from recent Olympic Games, which are worth no more than $50 off season. It is easiest to participate in auctions using an auction agency. Experts take care of the grunt work accompanying the purchase (registration, bidding, delivery, etc). Baltzer is one of such agencies.


Chris Evert's racket from "Wimbledon" 1976.

In Russia, sporting memorials do not generate as much interest as they do in the west. However, the Confederations Cup will certainly spur interest in this direction. Commemorative coins of different denominations issued by the Bank of Russia for the Cup have already been sold in secondary markets. The price for a 50 ruble coin is now $700. Football players who play for the national team of any given country are already legends, meaning there things, although relatively inexpensive now, can become a good investment. In 2014, at american auction house Peragon, t-shirts signed by various Brazilian national team players, Neimar t-shirts, his medals and a flag were sold for $2,500, while the estimate was only $500. This wide monetary gap is probably due to the medal. Sport items belonging to players with potential to become great are also a great investment. This relatively inexpensive purchase could bring significant dividends in the event of further career success for the player and is always of interest to the fans of a certain club.

17 June 2017
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