Programs, Tickets, Team-Signed Footballs & Helmets top Super Bowl Collectibles

When it comes to chronicling and immortalizing a Super Bowl game, one of the most affordable and plentiful keepsakes is the game ticket. This pair, from Super Bowl XLVI, featuring the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, had a face value of $1,200 apiece. The collectible value is a little less than that.

The National Football League’s annual championship game, known as the Super Bowl, has been a tradition since 1967. From its humble beginnings, the game has morphed into a two-week-long event, complete with its own fan convention, VIP parties and international media coverage. Historically, the most watched television program year in and year out, the annual spectacle provides the perfect platform for delivering its own unique collectibles.

As we are winding our way closer to the conclusion of the NFL season—the Divisional Championship games, with the National Conference to be decided between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers and the American Conference title will be won by either the New England Patriots or the Baltimore Ravens—fans of those four teams and fans of football in general may be thinking about what kinds of collectibles will be worth obtaining.

While there is certainly plenty of merchandise bearing the Super Bowl logo to be had, what are the pieces that are truly collectible? The answer is relatively simple: at the end of the day, when the parties are over and the interviews concluded, it’s all about the game and what happens on the field.

A framed set of tickets to the Five San Francisco 49er Super Bowls.

When it comes to chronicling the event, immortalizing that moment in time and serving as a means of physically capturing a memory, two of the most affordable and plentiful keepsakes are the game program and the ticket. Modern examples of both of these pieces of ephemera will never put your kids through college, but there is certainly a demand for them, particularly from fans of participating teams unable to attend the game itself. Historical samples from the games’ early years are another matter entirely and can be worth several hundred dollars in mint condition. Both items have been the subject of previous articles which can be found here; Sports Tickets: An Under Appreciates Collectibles Category and Collecting Game Day Programs.

Far and away, the most coveted collectible from the Super Bowl would be an official football signed by the winning team. To constitute a complete team signed ball, you would need to attain a minimum of 23 signatures comprised of all starting players on offense and defense as well as the head coach. Having the ball signed by special teams and role players, as well as the team owner, would significantly add to the value of the football. The type of ball used has little effect on value, as long as it is a Wilson football. Some collectors prefer the specially produced Super Bowl-logoed football because of its limited production. Other collectors prefer an official team logoed ball. Both varieties can be found with the option of white panels. Some collectors prefer the white panels to provide a better autograph surface. It really comes down to personal preference and neither type nor variety impacts the overall value of the ball.

A program from Super Bowl V.

A program from Super Bowl VIII.

A football from the 1999 Super Bowl XXXIV signed by the St. Louis Rams.

A Green Bay Packers helmet signed by the 2011 Super Bowl champs.

For those with even deeper collecting pockets, official, full-sized helmets signed by the winning team are also an item with a high demand and therefore value. Regardless of the medium used to capture team signatures, patience is often the rule of the day unless you have the connections that would provide team access leading up to the game or shortly thereafter. Most collectors who choose to pursue the daunting challenge of assembling team-signed collectibles do so over a period of time. Sports collectors conventions, local athlete appearances and staking out team hotels are all methods employed by team collectors. Getting as many athletes to sign for free is the key to making sure that the value of the finished product is greater than the sum of its parts.

Rob Bertrand has been an active collector of sports cards and memorabilia for more than 20 years. His involvement in the hobby community is well documented, having been the content manager for the Card Corner Club website before the company’s merger with CardboardConnection in 2011, where he is now a staff writer and multimedia content producer. Rob is also the co-host of the sports collectibles hobby’s only live and nationally broadcast radio show, Cardboard Connection Radio. He is the author of the highly respected and trafficked blog, Voice of the Collector and you can follow him on Twitter @VOTC. A dealer himself, Rob runs an online business through eBay, and is frequently asked to consign collections.

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