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Appreciating History: Sports Memorabilia Records

Appreciating History: Sports Memorabilia Records
August 11, 2022
Bradley Calleja

In the midst of rising inflation and increased recession fears, blue-chip sports memorabilia is experiencing a breakout year with world records established and million-dollar sales becoming the norm. While a new sports card record was established earlier this month, one that will be broken by the end of the month, sports artifacts and memorabilia have provided the biggest storyline thus far in 2022.

What is the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold?

Within the top ten sports memorabilia sales all-time, three have occurred in 2022 and 2 happened in 2021 with every top sale taking place in the past decade. Babe Ruth is the only athlete who is represented twice within the top ten and there have been four pieces of baseball memorabilia sold for more than $3.2 million.

So what about the superstar athletes who are sitting on the outside looking in at the top 10 list?

Mickey Mantle: $2.19 million

Michael Jordan: $1.38 million

LeBron James: $630,300

Lionel Messi: $450,000

Pelé: $220,850

It could be a matter of days before Michael Jordan joins the top 10. Sotheby's announced this week that they will be offering a jersey worn by the G.O.A.T from Game 1 of the 1998 NBA Finals. The jersey has an estimate between $3-5 million.

What are the most expensive sports memorabilia sales in each sport?

Building off the previous graph, it becomes evident that certain sports have struggled to replicate the success in other sports memorabilia markets. The NFL is the most glaring example, with no jersey ever selling for more than $500,000 at auction. The top price, set by an inscribed Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jersey via Goldin earlier this year, is one of the few NFL jerseys to ever even eclipse $300,000. It is worth noting that Lelands Auction sold a football from Tom Brady's "Last" Touchdown for $518,000, but the sale was voided since well, Tom Brady is still throwing footballs.

How has fractional sports memorabilia performed?

Fractional investing has provided an opportunity for collectors and investors to experience a level of exposure within the sports memorabilia market.

Fractional Memorabilia Facts:

Sports Memorabilia ROI (avg): -19.66%

Sports Memorabilia IPO Market Cap (total): $13,686,363

Sports Memorabilia Current Market Cap (total): $12,068,323

Sports Memorabilia IPO Market Cap (avg): $171,079

Sports Memorabilia Current Market Cap (avg): $150,854

Sports Memorabilia Buyouts Offered: 18

Sports Memorabilia Buyouts Accepted: 12

Sports Memorabilia Buyouts ROI vs IPO (avg): 20.6%

Sports Memorabilia Buyouts ROI vs Last Trade (avg): 22.8%

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