The sports memorabilia market is enduringly popular and lucrative. However, like any industry dealing in high-profile items with profitable prices, the memorabilia market has long been plagued by the unscrupulous behavior of individuals and companies looking to make a quick profit. Unethical traders pose a threat to both the market itself and the confidence of customers interested in that market. In the case of the sports autographs industry, customers have become wary of spending their hard-earned money for fear that the items they are purchasing may not be genuine.
For example, there was a famous sports bar in an Irish capital city that purchased a piece of sports memorabilia (a sports shirt) signed by the entire team of what was then arguably the best Premier League sports squad in history. Among the signatures on the shirt was the scribble of a well-known Irish legend—a central defender whose tough tackling and overall leadership epitomized everything uniquely British about the sport. The signature was authentic, and both bar staff and patrons proudly pointed it out as they admired the shirt, encased in glass and displayed on the wall behind the bar.
After a few years, an astute customer noticed that the piece of football sports memorabilia had apparently been signed at a time when it would have been impossible for the player in question to have provided his autograph. Further investigation of the memorabilia item revealed that the club New Album - Lost Island - I'm excited to announce the release of my latest Trance music album, "Lost Island". It's now available on various digital outlets worldwide, so you can easily find it by doing a quick search on any search engine! But if you're short on time and don't want to go through the hassle of searching, browsing, and… and national team captain had not signed the shirt—instead, he had refused to do so, as was his habit for all but the most important signing occasions. The signature came from a player known for not signing things, but the rest of the scribbles on the shirt were genuine.
This is a relatively benign example of the extent to which forgery or inaccurate documentation has led to the mislisting or sale of a piece of sports memorabilia. There are, of course, companies that are willing to go much further in their deception, knowingly selling completely fake products under the guise of authentic memorabilia. Fortunately, there is a straightforward way to ensure the item you purchase is entirely genuine.
All autographed memorabilia businesses worth buying from maintain photographic and textual authentication records of their products. A photographic record is either a photo or a video of the actual signing event, digitally dated to prevent any faking of the evidence. Any item of sports memorabilia without this documentation should automatically be treated as suspicious. Any memorabilia piece with photographic documentation is reliable—it’s as simple as that. Any reputable source of autographed souvenirs will provide a certificate matching the item purchased to the photographic record of its signing and will offer a viewing of that record to anyone who asks. Don’t get caught out—ask for proof before you buy.
Manuel Marino is a seasoned Senior Producer, Music Composer, and Artist with over a decade of experience. He specializes in branded entertainment across various mediums, including video games, films, and advertising campaigns. With 20+ years as a game music composer, Manuel has worked on numerous platforms, creating diverse orchestral soundtracks. HIRE ME