Sports Memorabilia Authenticity With Real-Time Data and Digital Twins

20 Sep, 2022
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Sports Memorabilia Authenticity

If you have always been a passionate sports fan, you know how valuable sports memorabilia can be – both financially and sentimentally! Whether it is sports cards, jerseys, or an autographed football, these items can truly enrich your collection and remind you of a special moment.

What role can sport memorabilia play in investments?

But, even more importantly, sports memorabilia represents a valuable alternative asset that can enhance your investment portfolio and even act as a safety net during stock market crashes.

After all, sports memorabilia offer low correlation to other assets (similarly to fine art and real estate) and gains value over time. No wonder the LeBron James rookie card was sold for a whopping $5.2 million! But while the market for sports memorabilia grows and provides investors with unprecedented opportunities, the risk of misspending your funds on fraudulent imitations becomes greater – especially with the advent of peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces such as eBay.

So, how can you make sure that you are making the right investment and acquiring an authentic, valuable card? Emerging real-time tracking and digital twin technologies can help – here is all you need to know.

How To Authenticate Sports Memorabilia?

Authenticating sports memorabilia has always been a pain point for both sellers and buyers. Not only the autograph authentication process can be expensive, but it might also be difficult to track some items back to the source to ensure they are authentic.

The popularity of trading marketplaces has made authenticating items all the more difficult and has triggered an uptick in the sales of fraudulent imitations.

Luckily, today, technology can help

Thanks to end-to-end product authentication solutions such as Authena M3TATM, sports memorabilia (physical assets) can now be associated with an NFT or digital twin. This allows buyers and sellers to track each item’s transactions and movements, thus ensuring authenticity – affordably and in real-time!

sports memorabilia

How To Get a Certificate of Authenticity for Sports Memorabilia?

Whether you already have sports memorabilia that you are looking to authenticate, or you have found the perfect collectible to add to your portfolio, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) to guarantee the item’s value.

To get a COA, you will need to work with a memorabilia or autograph authentication company. These specialized organizations use a variety of techniques to verify sports memorabilia authenticity, including the knowledge of an expert and databases. You might also be asked to pay a fee for the evaluation and often the authentication process can take a very long time and lead to no results.

Once finally the item evaluation process is concluded and if its authenticity is confirmed, you will receive a COA for your asset.

Who Issues a Certificate of Authenticity for Sports Memorabilia?

Several specialized companies have the authority to issue a valid Certificate of Authenticity. In particular, PSA is the most trusted authentication service provider worldwide. When working with this agency, you can certify a wide range of assets, including sports equipment and collectible cards.

What Does a Sports Memorabilia Certificate of Authenticity Look Like?

A Certificate of Authenticity is a registration card that comes with every piece of memorabilia you invest in. This registration card will include a statement and a signature of the company that certified the item, plus a matching hologram that is supposed to prevent falsification and fake copies.

You can also obtain a digital Certificate of Authenticity from the seller, which may use cryptography, passwords, and blockchain technologies to prevent fraud.

How To Recognize That Sports Memorabilia Is Authentic?

Whether you are a seasoned buyer of memorabilia, or you are looking to invest in the first collectible piece, it is never easy to determine whether a certain item is, in fact, authentic.

Indeed, the sports memorabilia authentication industry is quickly developing to ensure buyer protection against fraud.

However, if you don’t have these systems at hand, there are three main ways to ensure that the item you are about to buy is authentic:

  • Researching the item you are interested in and learning about its history
  • Looking for proof of authenticity such as COAs and photographs that provide evidence of an event (i.e.: the photo of a celebrity signing that piece of memorabilia).
  • Only work with honest and trustworthy dealers who can answer your questions and provide proof of authenticity.

Three main ways to verify the authenticity of sports memorabilia

However, no matter how meticulously you will follow these 3 verification steps, it will always be impossible to have the certainty to purchase authentic memorabilia.

Where To Check if a Sports Memorabilia Is Authentic?

If you wish to check that a piece of memorabilia is authentic, you’ll have more than one choice.

The first option is to get in touch with an independent authenticator who, thanks to his or her knowledge and expertise, can tell you about the value and history of an item.

Alternatively, you can opt to work with some of the most popular authentication companies.

The best-known ones include:

  • PSA
  • JSA Authentication Services
  • Beckett Authentication Services
  • KSA Certification

However, as already anticipated, the authentication process performed at a later stage is always tricky, long, expensive and it can lead to uncertain results.

Can I Check the Authenticity of Sports signed Memorabilia in Real-Time?

If you have found a piece of memorabilia you wish to invest in, sometimes, there is no time to lose. Whether you are bidding at an auction or directly purchasing from a private reseller, a time is truly the essence. In these cases, you might simply not have the time to contact an authentication expert or request a certificate of authenticity.

autograph authentication

Luckily, some advanced authentication solutions can help

For example, Authena Shield can help. Thanks to technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things, you can instantly verify the value, authenticity, and history of a certain item, with a tap of a smartphone.

How To Get the Authentication of Memorabilia?

Obtaining the authentication of memorabilia might not be a straightforward process. It usually requires the expertise of an authenticator, a significant database of memorabilia and transactions, and a certain level of authority in the field.

You can choose to authenticate your items in real-time through digital twins and NFTs or you might opt for a traditional, time and money consuming authentication method.

What Does the Authenticity of a Certificate Mean?

The value of your memorabilia items will depend on several factors, including exclusivity, scarcity, brand, and physical conditions of the items. When you obtain a certificate of authenticity, the registration card will carry all of these vital pieces of information to ensure that the value of the item is protected throughout time.

However, not only memorabilia can be faked, but even not all certificates are authentic themselves, and it can be hard to know whether the COA you have obtained is, in fact, legitimate.

Thanks to blockchain technologies and digital twins, you can ensure that your certificate is authentic.

Can I Make My Own Certificate of Authenticity?

Most traditional certificates of authenticity aren’t legally binding. What’s more, there are no universal standards for certificates, and it is often too easy to forge them.

However, unless you are a certified authenticator with the necessary resources to validate the authenticity of a piece of memorabilia, you should not attempt to do so.

What Does Digital Twin Have To Do With the Certificate of Authenticity of Sports Memorabilia?

Thanks to Authena end-to-end authentication solutions, you no longer need to waste time and effort tracing the history of a memorabilia item. Instead, when an NFT is created – or a digital twin associated with an underlying physical asset – you can simply ensure its authenticity by tracking the immutable transaction records on the blockchain through a user-friendly interface.

If you are unsure how to get started, partnering with a product authentication expert such as Authena can help.

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