The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States every year, and some people have even advocated making it a national holiday. For football memorabilia collectors, the Super Bowl is also an unparalleled spectacle for sports collectibles, from programs and ticket stubs to pennants and lapel pins.

The first Super Bowl was played in 1967 between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. At the time, the contest was not known as the Super Bowl, which is why tickets to that first game, which are highly collectible today, bear the words “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” It was not until after the two leagues merged in 1970 that the Super Bowl brand was attached to the championship game.

The Packers won that first championship game 35-10, asserting the NFL’s superiority over the AFL in front of a sparse crowd. Programs from that game, as well as the second Super Bowl, in which the Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders, are the most collectible Super Bowl programs.

Super Bowl III was quite possibly the most important Super Bowl in shaping the future of the NFL. Joe Namath, the quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, who were massive underdogs in the game, brashly guaranteed victory before the game. He delivered, as his Jets beat the NFL’s big, bad Baltimore Colts 16-7. The AFL (which would become the AFC the following year when the two leagues merged) would win 10 of the next 12 Super Bowls after the Jets victory. Namath, who gained a lot of notoriety because of his guarantee, is one of the most collectible players in football history.

Over the next few decades, the Super Bowl grew to become more than just a game—it was also a national and international phenomenon. Music stars sang the national anthem before the game, and everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson to The Rolling Stones have played a short set at halftime. The most memorable halftime show was undoubtedly the one for 2004’s Super Bowl XXVII, in which Janet Jackson famously had a “wardrobe malfunction.”

On a few occasions, the Super Bowl has helped produce dynasties. Recently it was the New England Patriots; in the ’80s it was the San Francisco 49ers; and in the ’70s it was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No team, however, commands the same attention from collectors as the early ’90s dynasty of “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout the franchise’s history, the Cowboys h...

Other Super Bowl collectibles include jersey patches, pennants, jackets, and pins. Every Super Bowl has its own unique insignia, so some collectors try to accumulate items from every Super Bowl. Others acquire collectibles only when their favorite teams are in the game.

Obviously items from the first few Super Bowls are most prized, but memorabilia from particularly memorable Super Bowls are also desirable—items from Super Bowl XLII in 2008, for example, when the New York Giants upset the undefeated Patriots, are considered more collectible than similar pieces from other contests.

In recent years, Super Bowl organizers have capitalized on the allure of the game by producing scores of souvenirs—from seat cushions to mini footballs—as well as endless articles of clothing. For fans of a beloved Super Bowl champion, even these artifacts are of interest.

After a Super Bowl, a second wave of items—commemorative shirts, plaques, rings, and signs—are created to honor the victorious team. These are often must-haves for diehard fans. But a major problem with Super Bowl collectibles is that they are easily reproduced and frequently reissued, which makes both authenticating and dating an item tricky.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Football Card Gallery

Vintage Football Card Gallery

This great database of pro and collegiate football cards from the 1950s and 1960s offers scanned images of cards fo… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Super Bowl I 1 1967 Ticket Stub Afl/nfl Playoff Game Green Bay Packers Chiefs2011 Contenders Cam Newton Rookie Auto Rc Autograph Panthers Mvp Super BowlVintage Original Rare! 1968 Super Bowl Ii ticket Stub - packers 33 raiders 141967 Super Bowl 1 Program Championship Game Afl Vs. Nfl Packers Vs. Chiefs 1967 Nfl Championship Super Bowl 1 Program- Superbowl Pack Take 1st One 35-10! Rare Archie, Peyton & Eli Manning Auto Signed Mini Helmet W/ Steiner Super BowlSuper Bowl Iii Ny Jets Vs Baltimore Colts Program Joe Namath 1968 World Champs2010 Playoff Contenders Super Bowl Tickets Auto John Elway Broncos HofThomas Rawls 2015 Panini Super Bowl Promotion Private Auto Seahawks 25/251967 Nfl Championship Super Bowl I Gold Ticket Stub - First Superbowl Super Bowl Ii World Championship Game 1968 Packers Vs Raiders Ticket Stub Orig.1991 Topps Stadium Club #94 Brett Favre Rc Super Bowl Xxvi Stamp Bgs 9 W/ 9.5New England Patriots Super Bowl Xxxvi Tom Brady Auto 8 X 10 - Tristar2011 Topps Chrome Cam Newton Rookie Auto / Autograph / Rc # 1 Super Bowl!Denver Broncos Ho Scale Train Set Super Bowl Champions Rare $0.99 Starting Bid!Peyton Manning Signed Auto Super Bowl Xli Program *sb Xli Mvp* Amazing Condition2015 Super Bowl Xlix 49 Full Ticket New England Patriots Seahawks Tom Brady MintPeyton Manning Autographed Super Bowl "xli" Mvp Wilson Football C.o.a. Cool!!!! World Championship Game Super Bowl 2 Ii Ticket Stub Green Bay Vs Oakland Graded 1967 World Championship Afl - Nfl Program Super Bowl I Real - Not A Replica Carolina Panthers Superbowl Nfc Championship Pack Super Bowl 50Sf Giants 49ers Warriors Championship Ring S Set (9) Bobblehead Super Bowl 5050th Super Bowl Edit Helmet 1 Of A Kind Denver Broncos Custom Elway/ Manning F/s2015 Super Bowl Xlix 49 Full Scan Ticket Psa Patriots Seahawks Tom Brady SlabbedNfl Super Bowl 50 Commemorative Mini Football - Nib2011 Topps Supreme Cam Newton Rc Auto Jersey /50 Panthers! Super Bowl Mvp!2011 Score Signatures Cam Newton Rookie Auto Carolina Panthers Super Bowl2014 Super Bowl Xlvii 48 Full Ticket Seahawks Denver Broncos Mint2011 Topps Chrome Cam Newton Rookie Auto Carolina Panthers Super BowlSuper Bowl Ix (sb #9) Ticket Stub Pittsburgh Steelers Vs Minnesota VikingsSuper Bowl Xlix 49 Full Ticket Patriots Seahawks Tom Brady Mint2015 Topps Chrome Super Bowl 50 On The Fifty Die Cut 35 Cards Set 2012 Contenders Josh Norman Rookie Auto Sp Panthers Super Bowl L!!Super Bowl Xlix 49 Full Ticket Patriots Seahawks Tom Brady Mvp MintCarolina Panthers New Era Nfl Super Bowl 50 Bound On-field 39thirty Flex Hat M/lTerrell Davis Signed Super Bowl Xxxii Fs Pro Line Helmet Sb Xxxii Hologram2014 Super Bowl Xlvii 48 Full Ticket Seahawks Denver Broncos MintNwt Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch Nfl Otf Jersey Superbowl49 Men'size 44 Lg2011 Contenders Cam Newton Rookie Auto Rc Autograph Panthers Mvp Super Bowl Jarryd Hayne 2015 Panini Contenders Super Bowl Ticket 1/1 49ersPeyton Manning Signed Photo 12x30 Steiner Coa Le 18 Autograph Super Bowl 501969 New York Ny Jets Super Bowl Iii Ticket UsedVintage Original Rare! 1968 Superbowl Ii program - packers 33 raiders 142015 Panini Contenders Super Bowl Ticket Carl Davis Rc Auto 1/1 Ravens2010 Contenders Super Bowl Tickets Auto Jack Lambert Steelers Hof Mcfarlane Cam Newton Nfl Carolina Panthers Figurine Super Bowl2012 Super Bowl Xlvi 46 Ticket Giants Patriots Psa 3 Tom Brady Eli Manning Mvp1998 Bowman Chrome Interstate Peyton Manning Rookie Psa 9 Broncos Qb Super BowlSuper Bowl 50 Carolina Panthers Nike Tech Fleece Aeroloft Size Extra Large (xl)Carolina Panthers Team Signed Logo Football 41 Sigs Newton, Kuechly + Super Bowl2011 Leaf Limited Phenoms Cam Newton Rookie Auto #/199 Panthers Super BowlBroncos Terrell Davis Lot Signed Jersey Auto Rc Card Superbowl Peyton Manning ++2012 Super Bowl Xlvi 46 Scan Ticket Red Var Giants Patriots Psa 7 Near MintSuper Bowl Xxix San Francisco 49ers Steve Young Mvp Wilson Nfl Game Football 2002 Topps Ring Of Honor Super Bowl Xii Mvp Randy White Signed Auto AutographNwt Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch Nfl Otf Jersey Superbowl49 Men'size 40 Med2015 Panini Gridiron Kings Michael Irvin Super Bowl Xxvii 27 Auto Autograph2005 New England Patriots Super Bowl Xxxix 3x Champions Ticket Branch Mvp Psa Super Bowl I January 15 1967 #1 Game Edition Program ( Not A Replica ) ExPeyton Manning Autographed Official Leather Super Bowl Xli Game Ball Psa/dna