How popular are sports collectibles? If attendance figures from last weeks’ National Sports Collectibles Convention are any indicator, they are extremely popular. For example, the opening sneak preview last week drew over 6,500 people. Not to the event, the preview. The show itself drew over 45,000 people to Cleveland, which is not really known as a destination city. The man behind the convention is Ray Schulte and he is the guest this week on The Collectors Show. (To hear the entire interview go to www.webtalkradio.net).
Ray is a veteran of sports marketing of all kinds having not just made a name for himself among collectors but representing some of the top names in sports including Cal Ripken, Howard Johnson, Harold Reynolds, Alvin Davis and Don Mattingly to name a few.
Authenticity of Collectibles
Ray was very candid during the interview about issues confronting sports marketers and collectors in the 21st century including authenticity of autographs, along with game used gear and even speculation when buying autographs of up and coming sports stars like Johnny Manziel. “When you are at an event like our convention and you are face to face with the player, you know you are getting the real thing,” Schulte said. The Manziel jersey seemed to draw the most attention with the media and fans.
An autographed jersey, said to have been worn by Manziel during the 2012 season at Texas A&M was to go on the auction block. Media reports were speculating that this jersey could sell for as much as $100,000.00 (http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11277279/johnny-manziel-texas-aggies-jersey-heisman-year-bid). “That is a lot of money for a player who has never taken a snap in the NFL,” Schulte told Collectors Show host Harold Nicoll. “It is a lot of speculation. What if he (Manziel) ends up like RGIII”?
A process described by SCP Auctions as “photomatching” illustrate that the jersey “has specific tailoring repairs and wear that can be seen on both photos and on the jersey itself.” The auction will take place online from Aug. 6 through Aug. 23. SCP Auctions declined to identify the consigner.
According to published media reports, the same jersey was originally posted on eBay in May with the seller hoping to get $300,000. Last year, a lot that included a pair of cleats that Manziel wore for his iconic win over Alabama during his Heisman season and a jersey he wore on the sidelines for the 2011 season sold at auction for $7,760.
Stars and athletes like Manziel certainly draw a lot of attention to the hobby. But experienced collectors know better than to draw conclusions about a single item or family of collectibles based on one individual. And if attendance and publicity are an indicator, the sports memorabilia collecting hobby is very healthy.