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Doc18 - II SPORTS MEMORABILIA MARKET There exists a large...

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Unformatted text preview: II. SPORTS MEMORABILIA MARKET There exists a large market for collectibles related to the sports industry including items such as jerseys, balls. autographs and trading cards. Much like other souvenir markets. sports memorabilia is collected both by investors hoping for a monetary return on their assets as well as enthusiasts interested more in the amenity value of their collection rather than its investment value (Burton and Jacobsen, I999). The sports memorabilia market consists of two distinctly separate types of goods: signed items and sports trading cards, Signed memorabilia is most like the art market in that a living athlete can always sign addi- tional jerseys or bats or balls. The value of a particular signed object is constrained by the possibility that the athlete will later flood the market with similar autographed items. Indeed. some athletes‘ signatures are more valuable than others in large part due to the fact that certain athletes consciously restrict the number of autographs they give. The signed memorabilia market is also like the art market in that much of the work is traded through auction houses and in recent times increasingly through Internet auction sites such as eBay. Sports trading cards are issued annually in limited quan- tities by private companies. The cards. which are dated, are each devoted to a specific player who is currently active in the sport and usually have the player's picture on one side of the card and a short biography or a list of the player's price of his own cards short of receiving unanticipated publicity. or course. whiie a player is still in the league, he can certainly afl'ect the price of his own cards by putting up impressive playing statistics since better players' cards sell for higher prices. 111. DEATH-EFFECT IN SPORTS MEMORABILIA As in the art market. many observers of the sports industry believe there is a death elTect in the sports memorabilia market. The durable good monopolist elTect cannot possibly change the price of baseball cards following the death of an athlete. since these cards are fixed in supply. Therefore. if an increase in the baseball card prices for a particular player follows soon after the player's death. then another explana» tion for the price increases. such as the nostalgia effect. must be oflered. A group of deceased players must be selected to test the existence of a nostalgia effect. Since it relies on public- ity surrounding a player’s death increasing the demand for memorabilia relating to the athlete. this elTect would be most pronounced in relativity well—known athletes for whom the media response to the player‘s death would be greatest. Only athletes who have been selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. therefore. are examined in this article. The players selected have also been constrained by the availability of data. Baseball cards have been regularly ...
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