Some buy sporting memorabilia for love. Others for money.
The world record for most money paid for a sports-related item goes to the original Olympic manifesto written in 1892 by International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin. It changed hands in 2019 for US$8.8 million. In second place is the New York Yankees jersey worn by legendary American baseball player Babe Ruth, sold in 2012 for USA$4.4 million.
As in all markets for collectibles, scarcity equals value.
Which is why sport organisations, memorabilia sellers and collectors are getting excited about non-fungible tokens – or NFTs – a blockchain-enabled technology that proves unique ownership of digital content.
NFTs open up a huge new market to sell limited-edition images, videos and artwork. They also enable the original licensees – be it sports organisations or individual athletes – to share in resale profits.