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    

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Xlviii (48) 32" Embroidered Wool Heritage Banner NflDrew Brees Autographed Full Size Nfl Helmet W/ Coa New Orleans Saints Super Bowl2011 Topps Super Bowl Iii Joe Namath Hof Signed Auto Autograph Jets2013 Playbook Joe Flacco #'d 7/49 Auto Raven Autograph Delaware Super Bowl 2014 Panini Contenders A.j. Mccarron Super Bowl Ticket Auto True 1 Of 1 $$$$Joe Flacco 2008 Topps Triple Threads Logo Rookie Auto Rc Patch 1/1 Superbowl Mvp2001 New England Patriots Super Bowl Xxxvi 36 Champions 14" Mini Banner BradyLot Of 3 Replica Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl Rings 1992 1993 1995 Size 11Vintage Raiders Snapback Autographed Otis Sistrunk Super Bowl Los AngelesOdell Beckham Jr 1/1 $1500+ Giants Rookie Auto Jersey Patch Rc Panini Super BowlTom Brady Signed Authentic Super Bowl Mvp Logo Proline Helmet Tristar2001 2003 2004 2014 New England Patriots Super Bowl Champions 14" Banner SetSuper Bowl Xlviii Champions Seattle Seahawks 4792/5000 Official Duke FootballPeyton Manning $120+ Mint Super Bowl Rookie Gold Refractor Rc 1998 Edge MastersAndrew Luck /200 2012 Topps Super Bowl Rookie Nameplate Logo Patch Card Xlvii Rc2014 New England Patriots Super Bowl Xlix 49 Champions 14" Mini Banner Brady2015 Clear Vision Peyton Manning #/10 Super Bowl Xli Indianapolis Colts2015 Panini Clear Vision Tom Brady Super Bowl Xlix Winners Red Foil Insert #/25Super Bowl Xxvii (27) Numbered Nflp Press Pin - Dallas Beat Bills 52-17 - Mint2015 Panini Father's Day Road To The Super Bowl - Tom Brady Patriots Relic2015 Panini Father's Day Tom Brady Patriots Road To The Super Bowl PylonTom Brady Hand Signed Official Leather Super Bowl 49 Xlix Le Game Football PsaJoe Montana Autographed Signed Super Bowl Xxiv 24 Football 49ersLot Of 3 Replica New England Patriots Super Bowl Rings 2001 2003 & 2004 Size 11Herb Adderley & Willie Wood Signed 11x14 Green Bay Packers Hof Super Bowl Mud 2014-2015 New England Patriots Super Bowl Ring Champions2005 Topps Heritage Adam Vinatieri Super Bowl Xxxvi Goal Post Relic Patriots Men's True Vintage Denver Broncos Super Bowl 21 Helmet Logo Thin Soft T Shirt LSuper Bowl Xxv (25) Numbered Press Pin - Giants Beat The Bills 20-19 - MintVintage Nfl Pennant Oakland Raiders 1981 Super Bowl 15 ChampionsSuper Bowl 1 Afl Nfl World Championship Packers Chiefs Press Guide Not TicketWillabee Ward Super Bowl Nfl Collection Patches #1 Thru #31 Complete In BindersJohn Elway Autograph Signed 1987 Super Bowl Gateway Silk CachetJerry Rice Autographed Football Super Bowl 23 Ga Certified1966 Green Bay Packers 9th World Title Ashtray Dish Pre-super Bowl Nr1989 Super Bowl Autograph Gateway Silk Cachet Signed By Rice- Lott & Craig2006 Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl Championship RingJohn Elway Autograph Signed Gateway Silk Cachet 1988 Super BowlRiddell Nfl Super Bowl Xlv Mini Helmet Green Bay Packers Steelers New In Box2015 Panini Fathers Day Patriots Super Bowl Pylon Relic Lot Of 6Vintage Nfl Pennant Pittsburgh Steelers Afc Champions Super Bowl 9 1975Nfl 2013 Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Ring2015 Brett Favre Clear Vision ( Clear Winners ) Super Bowl Xxxi2015 Panini Prestige Football Joe Montana Super Bowl Heros2014 Select Football Tom Brady Gold 7/10! New England Patriots! Super Bowl!New Orleans Saints Game Used 2010 Authentic Football Super Bowl Xliv Tickets1969 Super Bowl Iv Kansas City Chiefs Team Signed Afl Football Dawson BuchananBill Walsh Autograph Signed Gateway Silk Cachet 1989 Super BowlNwt Wilson Super Bowl Xliv Football, Ball, Colts SaintsLot Of 2 Replica New York Giants Super Bowl Rings 2007 & 2011 Size 11Nike Seattle Seahawks #3 Russell Wilson Super Bowl Xlix Replica Jersey, 44, NwtWilson Super Bowl Xlviii Football - Denver Broncos Vs Seattle Seahawks2015 Panini Father's Day Road To The Super Bowl Tom Brady Rare Game Used Ball2010 Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl Ring 99% First Bid!Vintage Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Xlll Champs Pennant 29.5''x11.5''Green Bay Packers Reebok On Field Jersey #21 Charles Woodson Size 48 Super BowlSuper Bowl Xlix Replica Ticket Paperweight - Patriots - SeahawksSuper Bowl Xxiv (24) Numbered Press Pin - 49's Beat Bronco's 55-10 - Mint2015 Clear Vision Winners Russell Wilson Super Bowl Xlviii Red Rare #22/25 SpRoger Craig Nebraska Star Super Scripts Autograph 2013 Spx Football Super Bowl