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Sports autographs determining value for the long term

Sports Autographs – Determining Value For The Long Term

Sports autograph collecting is a unique and exciting hobby. Fans across the globe watch in awe and amazement feats of their favorite teams and players. Like stocks, fans and collectors are always looking for athletes and teams that are winners- memorabilia that will rise in the future and become valuable and cherished collectibles. This article explores the many factors that enable one to choose valuable sports autographs early on that could become sought after commodities in the future.

Like most investments, one has to do research on finding good fundamental assets that yield high returns. For most, these include stocks, bonds, CD’s, real estate and commodities. Autographed sports memorabilia investing is no different. Predicting the rise of a player and team takes extensive analysis of statistics, financials, management and ownership. There are countless reasons why teams like the L.A Lakers have won 15 NBA championships and teams like the L.A Clippers zero although both share the same fan base and venue. Let’s use these two teams as examples to illustrate differences of winning and losing cultures.

So how does a team like the L.A Lakers field a championship team year after year while the L.A Clippers rarely make the playoffs? The answer is quite simple- quality ownership. Jerry Buss, the long time owner of the Lakers, has the right approach when it comes to hiring the right personnel to make basketball decisions. His scouts traded for a cornerstone player in Kobe Bryant and surrounded him with role players that buy into the system head coach Phil Jackson implements. Of course it’s not hard to sell a system to players when the head coach has won 9 championships and has one of the greatest NBA coaching records of all time.

In contrast, the L.A Clippers are owned and managed by eccentric Donald Sterling, have never won an NBA championship and have made the playoffs only 6 times in their history. The Clippers, year in year out always seem to get high quality draft picks, a franchise player where a team can build around and succeed for years to come, but don’t. This year was no different. The Clippers were awarded the top pick in the 2010 NBA draft and quickly drafted Blake Griffin as the new face of their troubled franchise. Unfortunately, he went down for the season in October with a knee injury.

As a sports memorabilia collector, which autographed sports memorabilia has more potential? An unheralded rookie with infinite potential in Blake Griffin or a established winner and future hall of famer in Kobe Bryant.

Most collectors would agree a Kobe Bryant autograph would be worth almost 10-12 fold more than a Blake Griffin autograph. But 5 years from now, does Blake Griffin have what it takes to lead the league in key statistics and more importantly lead his team to the playoffs and eventual title? Bryant has already established himself as a hall of famer. He has garnered 4 NBA championships, Olympic gold, Finals MVP, league MVP honors, All Star MVP and numerous scoring titles. These achievements are already priced into the current value of his autograph. The only way for his autograph value to surge astronomically would be if he were to pass away or stop signing memorabilia all together.

On the other hand do you take a chance on Blake Griffin and hope he becomes as advertised by talent scouts and resurrect a franchise from the depths of mediocrity to championship contender or champions?. If that were to happen, like finding a Wall Street Darling, your investment would soar radically and demand would be huge. Blake Griffin has the potential to help the Clippers like Kobe Bryant did for the Lakers. The big question is will he? Basketball and most team sports are not one player squads. It takes commitment from ownership to the last bench player to bring home titles consistently.

Like all good investments, it takes tracking, analyzing, and keeping up with your player’s on court and off court activities. There are countless players out there with unbelievable potential. Like stocks, a little time and research can go a long way to picking quality high yielding sports autographs.

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