Deion Sanders Memorabilia is Booming in Value. But Is It a Bubble?
Picture by Getty Images.
With the University of Colorado football team now 3-0, head coach Deion Sanders has found himself at the center of the sports world — and that means the collectibles universe, too.
Sanders' endorsement of a sunglasses brand called Blenders has resulted in a massive boom in revenue. Items with his name on them from his playing days — from cards to T-shirts to memorabilia — have ballooned to record prices.
And now, Sanders is looking to cash in.
The coach, who played both baseball and football at the same time, has filed for four trademarks with the US Patent & Trademark Office:
- Prime Effect, for coaching services and a production company
- It's Personal, for clothing, a reference to Sanders fighting back at Colorado State's Jay Norvell when he said that people who wear hats and sunglasses are disrespectful.
- Coach Prime, for an online store that sells clothing and household goods
- Daddy Buck, for clothing, a reference to his father.
With the amount of eyeballs on the program, it stands to reason that Coach Prime — the single-biggest factor in buoying Colorado football — would try to capitalize monetarily.
Colorado's Saturday night game vs. Colorado State set a record with about 9.3 million viewers, the most-viewed late window college football game in ESPN's history. Compare that to the typical 1 or 2 million for late night games.
And Colorado consistently has the week's most expensive home ticket — beating out the vast majority of NFL games.
But while his collectibles swell in value, third-party vendors — not Sanders himself — are profiting mightily in the short-term.
Over the past three weeks, a record 289 Sanders cards graded a PSA 10 have sold on eBay.
The average value of those cards have risen from about $102 earlier this year to its current mark of $215, a rise of over 110%.
But is this hype sustainable?
A massive issue with Sanders cards in particular is that they were produced during the junk wax era, when massive quantities were made over a short period of time. Those with perfectly slabbed cards are cashing in now, but if prices stay as they are, it's very possible PSA sees a flood of new Sanders cards that had been sitting around for years — many of which could be graded as 10s.
This influx of supply — in addition to a die-down in interest — could see the market settle back to the $100 equilibrium we saw before Colorado became the story of the football season.