Sports Collectibles and Memorabilia Market Size, Statistics, Growth Trend Analysis and Forecast Report, 2021 - 2031

Sports Collectibles Market is segmented by Product (Sports memorabilia, Digital NFT Sports Collectibles, Sports Trading Cards Market, Autographs, Signed Sports Equipment, Posters/Wallpapers/Photographs); Sales Channel (Licensed Manufacturers, Specialized Collectible Web Portals, E-Commerce Websites, Offline Retails)

  • Report ID : MD2846
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  • Pages : 220
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  • Tables : 60
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  • Formats :

Sports collectibles market size was estimated at $4.14 Billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.7 percent during 2021 to 2031.

The sports memorability industry is currently part of the collectibles market, which currently has a global value of $370 billion. There are over 200 million people who are collectors of various types in the world today. About 33% of global collectors have purchased, owned, or previously owned at least one sports memorabilia collectible. Boxes is one of the fastest growing companies in the sports memorabilia industry, offering over $125 million in collectibles at any given time. The famous Michael Jordan, who played in the “Flu Game” in the 1997 NBA Finals, had his shoes recently sold at auction for over $100,000. And the jersey he wore in the final game was recently sold for $173,000 at auction price.

Currently in the sport collectible industry, trading cards are still a dominant force in the sports memorabilia market with over 98% of sports collectors spending time collecting trading cards at some point in their lives. Currently, Eli Manning is the top-selling autograph memorabilia producer for the sports memorabilia industry, and he is responsible for 2.1% of all sales, followed by Michael Jordan (1.8%), Peyton Manning (1.5%), Mickey Mantle (1.2%), and Tom Brady (1.2%). 34% of the sports memorabilia sold in the United States is from the National Football League. 26% is from Major League Baseball and 10% is from the National Basketball Association. Among the States in the U.S., the top 5 states that are responsible for 40% of sport collectibles industry revenues are; California, which leads with 11.2%., followed by New York (8.9%), Texas (8.8%), Florida (5.8%), and New Jersey (5.3%). The New York Yankees are the most popular team in the autographed sports memorabilia industry, responsible for 7.1% of sales. The New York Giants are second at 3.5%. They’re followed by the Dallas Cowboys (3.1%), the Green Bay Packers (3%), and the Chicago Bulls (2.4%). The most popular autographed item in the sports memorabilia market involves jerseys, making up 24% of total sales. Currently, autographed photographs hold a 23% market, followed by autographed helmets (8%), autographed baseballs (8%), and lastly, autographed footballs (5%).

The licensed market share of the sports memorabilia industry is valued at $12 billion, while the autographed market share of the industry is about $2 billion. Recently, 23,000 athletes currently have some type of sports memorabilia in circulation around the world, along with 516 teams and 93% of sales that occur within the sports memorabilia industry happen in the United States each year. In recent times, say since the year 2018, the most expensive item of sports memorabilia sold is a 1920 Babe Ruth game-used jersey, valued at $4.4 million. Up to 50% of the sports memorabilia products that are available in the United States is considered to be counterfeit. This may be as a result of the advent of internet, which is discussed below. The counterfeit rates for some products could be as high as 90%. Among all collectors, the average collector only has about 10% to 20% of their items rated as being museum quality. Interestingly, at the peak of the sport memorabilia industry, baseball trading cards generated more than $1 billion in sales each year and recently, the industry has contracted to a value of about $200 million each year.

Sports Memorabilia Market Trends

Sports memorabilia has been an industry in the United States which has seen slow and steady growth since 2011. Even during the recession and post-recession years, industry revenues were relatively stable, with more than $12 billion in value achieved each year. By 2021, sports merchandise and memorabilia was predicted to top $15 billion.
However, revenues in the industry are able to remain relatively constant because of the constant flow of professional athletes through various teams. All-star players, such as Michael Jordan, provide collectors with long-term, investment-grade sports memorabilia items. At the same time, rare collectibles can be found by the average collector by purchasing trading card packs and similar items. Athletes with only a minimal influence on their team see the value of their collectibles often rise over time. As long as there are sports, there will be sports memorabilia generated. The market continues to grow as more teams enter the market. With Major League Soccer growing in influence and world demand for international sports memorabilia increasing, there are a number of opportunities available to find great collectibles and interesting deals in this industry. With the rate of expansion of sports memorabilia and collectibles in recent years, particularly as rarer items are seen as an investment. Most consumers have now resorted to make purchases of industry products on secondary online marketplaces, such as eBay Inc., siphoning away industry revenue.

The COVID-19 pandemic played a giant role in the enormous purchase of sports collectibles via online auction. Since the first lockdown began in early 2020, sales have significantly increased on both sides of the Atlantic in both number and value. Digital purchases overall in the U.S. is surged by $200 billion in 2020, and is on the increase due to the already-growing trend of people buying sports memorabilia online. That was how eBay experienced a 142% increase in sales from 2019 to 2020, and how Goldin Auctions, which has currently emerged as the largest auction house in sports memorabilia, pulled in $100 million in 2020 and has doubled that amount already in 2021. Sports collectibles is perhaps the strongest financial market that exists right now due to the global pandemic, which added rocket fuel to the collectibles market, where a combination of the restriction upon spending on other luxuries like travels and fine dining, and then the growing acceptance of the legitimacy of collectibles around the globe as an investment vehicle. In December 2020, demand for UEFA Champions League trading cards was so high that manufacturer Topps UK website crashed.

Influence of Internet on the sport collectible industry

The advent of the Internet has changed the course of the sport collectible industry. Auction sites such as eBay being the most sort after currently, allows clients accessibility to items which are not virtually available for years. Today, one can bid for more than a thousand item related to a sport persons ranging from their autographed photos to sporting equipment used, just with the click of the mouse as compared to when dealers were limited to a selling space before the advent of internet. The internet has created a platform where anonymous sellers using can inexpensively advertise their items to millions of buyers throughout the world without meeting them in person. Internet auctions have now become a commonplace for determining the "value" of an item as a lot of people globally now have an idea of how much an item should go for. Trading card dealers, market venders, and memorabilia store owners all rely on the Internet for determining minute-by- minute value of their goods. Trading card dealers, market venders, and memorabilia store owners all rely on the Internet for determining minute-by-minute value of their goods. Even professional leagues (e.g. Major League Baseball, NFL, PGA Tour), and sport professionals (e.g. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Pete Rose) use the Internet to sell merchandise related to their careers. Without question, the Internet has increased the number of collectors, dealers, and investors in sport memorabilia. The Internet has also created a platform where fake items, non authentic autographs and incorrectly described items plague the sport collectibles industry. The good side of the internet is the ease with which buyers or collectibles are access collectibles and the bad side of the internet is the fact that the lack of accountability to fraudulent items keeps many potential buyers and sellers away. Experts have estimated that more than 85% of autographed items are not authentically signed.

Current Market analysis of sport collectibles

The sports collectible market is huge, particularly for sport jerseys with ages of collectors ranging from young kids to grown adults. With the growing popularity of eBay, sport collectible trading has become more popular with a much more open market. Sport Jerseys has segmented the market into two niches, children and adults. With the children being most interested in the baseball and football jerseys and adults showing primary interest in the cycling jerseys.
The children category with typical age range of 7 to 15, often participate in sports but are also interested and involved in viewing and following professional sports and in turn enjoy collecting memorabilia. Though this group does not have significant amounts of discretionary income, a function of their age, typically do get an allowance and save their money for purchases relating to sports. For the adult category, they are very active in sports, they either play sports or follow it religiously. Therefore, 65% of the adults ends up opting for sport collectibles. Interestingly, adults that collect memorabilia began as a child and have continued into adulthood. The average income of this group $45,000. With the current market trend analysis, the global sports trading card market was valued at USD 13.82 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 98.75 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 23.01% from 2020 to 2027.

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic set a record February 2021 r for his autographed NBA rookie trading card sold for $4.6 million, making it the most expensive basketball card ever sold. In January, 2021 a 1952 Mickey Mantle card became the highest selling sports card ever at $5.2 million. Then, in April, iconic sports card brand Topps announced it was going public through a merger with special acquisition company (SPAC) Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II, in a deal valuing Topps at $1.3 billion. In February, a highlight clip known as a “moment” showing a LeBron James dunk sold for more than $200,000 via NBA Top Shot. The block chain-based, online platform saw more than $150 million in sales of NFT highlight clips during the final week of February, 2021 alone.

The majority of the approximately $5 billion sports card trading market has been cards sold in eBay auctions. But now, a new wave of online start-ups and block chain-based digital collectibles could change the way enthusiasts and investors collect and sell sports trading cards forever.

Market Segmentation and Revenue Breakdown in the Report

Product Segmentation 

Sports memorabilia 

Digital NFT Sports Collectibles

Sports Trading Cards Market


Signed Sports Equipment


Sales Channel Segmentation 

Licensed Manufacturers 

Specialized Collectible Web Portals 

E-Commerce Websites 

Offline Retails

By Country 

United States
United Kingdom
South Korea
Middle East


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Collectibles Market

Digital Collectibles Market

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