Sports Autographs - Are Athletes Decreasing The Value of Their Sports Autographs?
Tim Jude - Associate Contributor, AllAuthenticAutographs.com
April 2nd, 2010
It's everywhere and seems more common nowadays, stories of athletes and their inappropriate conduct on the television, in the newspapers, and on the Internet. The latest athlete in the spotlight is golfer Tiger Woods and his problems of marital infidelity. Collectors of sports autographs and sports memorabilia are concerned about the potential impact athletes' actions may have on the value of their autographed items. Will the sports autograph ever realize its full value or will the value decrease? This article explores the impacts athletes' decisions and actions have on the value of their sports autographs.
Tiger is not the first athlete and certainly will not be the last whose "inappropriate actions" will be broadcasted to the entire world. Before him, there were athletes like Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Andre Agassi, Ben Johnson, Pete Rose and Mark McGwire who all wish they could have made different decisions. Athletes will always be in the spotlight and the era of technology allows for bad news to travel quickly.
Analyzing the effects of athletes' behavior on the value of sports autographs must be made on an individual basis. One needs to consider who the athlete is, the circumstance, and where the athlete is in his or her career. In most instances, the short term value of the sports autograph will almost certainly decrease but the factors listed above will determine the impacts on the long term value.
In the short term, the value of the sports autograph will decrease as there will be less demand for the athlete's sports autograph. Fans, like companies, do not want to be associated with athletes who have behaved inappropriately. Accenture, a former sponsor of Tiger Woods decided to no longer provide sponsorship after learning of the scandal. Media outlets will focus all the attention on the athlete and the issues confronted. Additional concerns are questions about the future of the athlete and the ability of the athlete to continue to play in his or her sport. These reasons tend to decrease the value of the athlete's sports autographs in the short term.
In the long term, fans tend to forgive and forget or at least just forget. This allows sports autographs to appreciate to previous levels. Kobe Bryant is an example of an athlete who was able to rebrand himself after accusations of sexual assault in 2003. After settling out of court, Bryant returned to the NBA and again began focusing on basketball with renewed vigor. The incident could be defined as a personal matter and had nothing to do with his sport of basketball. Bryant was still young at that time and had many years in the NBA league as well as many achievements still to accomplish. As of late, Bryant's fans have been savoring the Los Angeles Lakers' fifteenth NBA title in 2009.
It is however difficult for athletes who "cheated" at their sports and no longer play the sport to avoid the long term impacts on the value of their sports autographs. An example is Mark McGwire, who retired from baseball (2001) admitted in 2010 to the use of steroids when he was playing baseball. He is famous for breaking Roger Maris' home run record of 61 which Maris set back in 1969. Questions regarding McGwire's ability to break the home run record without steroids will always surface. Fans will also not have an opportunity to witness a steroid-free McGwire break any more records. It is therefore difficult for McGwire's sports autograph to reach its potential value or revert to previous levels.
In summary, the value of an athlete's sports autograph can recover in the long term if the athlete has many more years to achieve additional accolades and the issue is not directly related to the athlete's primary sport.
AllAuthenticAutographs.com -- We are a sports autograph and sports memorabilia company. All of our sports autographs and sports memorabilia products are guaranteed authentic and come with a certificate of authentication. We specialize in sports autographs of top athletes worldwide on collectibles like game jerseys, photographs, bats, balls, pucks, basketballs, hockey sticks, footballs, helmets, gloves, shoes, shorts, etc.