Over the past few years, the sports memorabilia market has continued to boom with an estimated market value of $5.4 billion. From vintage ball signatures to authorized sports cards, the world of sport is a passionate one, with the potential for memorabilia from your favorite legend to earn you thousands!
Interested in the most valuable sports investments, OnBuy Treadmills scraped the 20 most expensive sold memorabilia listings for 50 sports legends (totalling nearly 1000 items) using an established UK ecommerce site. The study revealed the world’s most loved sports legend, with the most expensive and valuable sports memorabilia.
Highlights from the research include:
- Michael Jordan is the legend that has the most valuable memorabilia sold, with an average price of $31,973 and the highest sale achieved $85,000
- Basketball was found to be the most profitable sport, with average sales exceeding $10,000
- According to OnBuy Treadmills, Match Tickets have the highest average sold price of $7,602 while Trading Cards are the most common type of memorabilia (66%)
Top 10 sports legends with the most valuable sports memorabilia
In first place is six-time NBA Finals MVP Awards winner Michael Jordan, with an average for the top 20 sold items totalling $31,973. His highest sold item is a trading card dated back to season 1997-98 with a certificated quality grade of 9, at an astonishing price of $85,000.
Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James is in second place. With a 96% total sold price contribution from basketball trading cards, his 20 best-selling memorabilia averaged $20,917. “2004 sweet shot three-point auto jersey Lebron James /23 BGS 9.5 2nd Year POP”, a graded card featuring two pieces of his jersey and an on-card autograph, was the highest sold price at $50,000.
The late, and the great Kobe Bryant is in third place, with an average sold price of over $15,000 ($18,091). His most expensive item was an official authorized card with Ja Morant and his autograph, the “2019-20 Hoops Art Signatures Kobe Bryant Ja Morant Dual PSA/DNA Auto 10 POP 1” ($29,822).
In fourth place is baseball legend Babe Ruth ($12,337) with more diversity in his top-selling types of memorabilia. Besides trading cards, his signed ball contributed 26% of total price of the top 20, with a DNA certified signed ball selling at an astonishing $35,000 in January 2022.
Rounding off the top five is soccer legend Lionel Messi ($11,159) whose highest selling memorabilia is a rookie card from 2004 featuring the young Messi in FC Barcelona ($41,387). Match tickets for his professional career debut in 2003 also caught huge attention in the market, having sold for $12,000.
Having analyzed nearly 1,000 items of memorabilia, OnBuy Treadmills can reveal that basketball legends retain the most value with average sales for top 20 items totalling $10,411 – with 4 sporting stars ranked in top 10.
Most valuable sport by memorabilia
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Most valuable type of memorabilia
The study suggests that match tickets have the highest average sold price of $7,602 for just 19 items researched. Comparably, trading cards are the second most in demand to invest in with a total average value of $5,830 for all cards reviewed, followed by jersey ($4,239) and magazine ($3,925).