With the eyes of the nation firmly on the Rugby World Cup and the action happening on the pitch across England & Wales, the huge business of sports memorabilia and souvenirs is in full flow. The sport memorabilia industry is worth an estimated £1 billion and with major events, like this year’s Rugby World Cup, the demand for a unique memory is hugely in demand.
Companies up and down the country are looking for ways to provide these memories through the manufacture and sell of items – ranging from a simple keyring right through to signed match shirts and bespoke jewellery. There are some amazing examples of sports memorabilia out there, ranging from keyrings and pin badges, right through to the rarest baseball jerseys that are worth millions of pounds.
Below we take a look at some different examples across this industry and see what memorabilia there is commemorating not only the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but also teams, tournaments and players of the past.
A staple in the gift and souvenir section of any sports club, key rings are a simple and functional gift for any sports fan. From key rings with the shirt design of your club and country to more elaborate designs, a key ring is an affordable way to cling on to the precious memories of the big game day.
Metal pin badges are a true collectable and event badges can only further enhance someone’s collections. With avid collectors after the latest badges this can be big business, regardless of the event. The Rugby World Cup has produced a number of metal pin badges, ranging from the official emblem to all 20 official match shirts. It’s not only a collector that may be interested in pin badges, it makes a nice subtle souvenir where you can wear it with pride without drawing attention to it.
One of the more leftfield items being sold for the Rugby World Cup, you can pick up some silver, hand engraved cufflinks. Unlike a lot of event souvenirs, cufflinks are something useable in day-to-day life. For those that have to wear cuffed shirts for business, cufflinks are a great way to be able to either show support for a tem or event whilst still meeting the all-important appearance guidelines.
The most obvious souvenir for a team is the replica playing shirt. Every team has one and each major tournament that comes around there are bespoke shirts made as a one off. The way to increase the value of these shirts even further is to get it signed. Having a signed shirt is a great piece of memorabilia and if you walk into any sports club you are sure to see at least one signed shirt.
Unique historic memorabilia
Outside of traditional sporting memorabilia, like the previously mentioned examples, there are some extraordinary pieces of historic memorabilia that sell for millions of pounds. A lot of these items were never for sale originally but have high significance to that sport or period of time.
One of the more fascinating pieces that has made its way through an auction house, selling for over £900,000, is the original rule book for Sheffield United Football Club. This item is looked upon as the first official document detailing the rules of football and therefore has huge historic value.
There is also a huge amount of money in significant baseballs in the USA. There are examples of baseballs being sold for $3 million (£1.9 million) for players that hit significant landmarks. The most expensive one to be sold at auction is Mark McGwire’s record breaking 70th Home Run baseball from the 1998 season.
Sports memorabilia is a large, ever growing industry and there will always be news stories about pieces that are sold for extortionate sums of money but for most people it is about having a souvenir of the big game. Whether it is the Rugby World Cup or a community sports tournament, there is always a desire for players and spectators to mark the occasion; this is unlikely to change any time in the future.
Article provided by Southern United; specialist label manufacturers and reputable suppliers of sports memorabilia – working with the aerospace, defence and commercial sectors.