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 Nfl2007 Topps Exclusive Tx Auto Ticket Super Bowl Tom Brady Sp Autograph StubSuper Bowl 1 Program January 15th 1967 Afl Vs. Nfl Excellent Dallas Cowboys Chrome Superbowl Winners Riddell Mini Helmet Limited EditionTom Brady Signed Patriots Superbowl 38 16x20 Photo Mounted Memories Coa HologramRussell Wilson Signed Super Bowl Xlviii Seattle Seahawks Mini Helmet Auto + Coa 2007 National Treasures Steve Mcnair * Torry Holt #/10 Super Bowl Signatures Ny Giants Barry Cofield Game Used Worn Super Bowl 42 Xlii Helmet Jersey Pants2007 National Treasures Peyton Manning * Reggie Wayne #10/10 Super Bowl Sigs John Elway Signed Super Bowl Xxxiii Mvp Full Size Helmet #d 12/99 Psa/dna X087562013 Seattle Seahawks Replica Super Bowl Xlviii Championship Ring!*new* $120 Nike On Field Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Jersey #3 Wilson 2xl NavySuper Bowl Vintage Los Angeles Raiders / Oakland Raiders Letterman Jacket2007 National Treasures Jim Mcmahon * Mike Singletary #/10 Super Bowl Sigs 2007 Topps Tx Exclusive Vince Wilfork Auto Super Bowl Xxxix Ticket StubMitchell & Ness Chicago Bears Super Bowl Xx Throwback Wool JacketTerry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Champs Signed Mini Helmet2012 National Treasures Super Bowl Signatures John Elway Auto /7 BroncosAaron Rodgers 2011 Topps Super Bowl Legends Packers 2 Color Patch 8/15Vintage 90s Super Bowl Xxxiv Satin Jacket Chalk Line New Orleans 49ers Broncos 2007 National Treasures Peyton Manning * Devin Hester #/10 Super Bowl Sigs Green Bay Packers Riddell Chrome Super Bowl Winners Limited Edition Mini Helmet2007 National Treasures Joe Namath * John Mackey #01/10 Super Bowl Signatures 1976 Super Bowl X 10 Ticket Stubs Psa 6 Ex-mt (pittsburgh 21 Dallas 17)Super Bowl Xl 40th Anniversary Steelers Vs Seattle Large 95"x36" Actual BannerNfl Super Bowl Dallas Cowboy Mvp Troy Aikman Super Bowl Xxvii Limited Ed. CollecFootball Green Bay Packers Superbowl Ticket January 14, 1968 Near Mint OriginalSuper Bowl 47 *rare Blue* Full Unused Authentic Ticket Baltimore RavensPopular 1992 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Championship Rings Size 10.5 LargePeyton Manning Super Bowl Nike Jersey Nfl New Denver BroncosMen's 2005 Super Bowl Xl Pittsburgh Steelers World Series Championship Ring GiftRare Vintage Super Bowl Ii Pennant - No Reserve2007 National Treasures Fran Tarkenton * Fred Biletnikoff #/10 Super Bowl Sigs Nfl 2006 Super Bowl Xl 40 Steelers Vs Seahawks - Full Ticket Psa 8 - Silver VarPeyton Manning 52 Bgs 10 Super Bowl Xli Sb Mvp Auto Patch National Treasures 9.5Terry Bradshaw Rookie Card 1971 Topps #156 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Mvp Indianapolis Colts Monopoly Super Bowl Xli Game New In Original Plastic UnopenedSuper Bowl Xlvii Unused Ticket & Program Mint!!!! Ravens Vs 49ersEddie George Autographed Game-used Superbowl Football 20/25Collection 1997 Denver Broncos Super Bowl Championship Rings Size 11 LargeSan Francisco 49ers Super Bowl Xxiii Snapback Hat Cap Just Released 1/13/14 !!Roger Staubach Super Bowl Mvp Set Signed Gateway Stamp Cachet - Dallas CowboysSuper Bowl (48) Xlviii Full Unused Authentic Ticket Denver Vs SeattleBgs 9 Tom Brady 2002 Topps Chrome Refractor Super Bowl Goal Post Card *patriots*Official Nfl Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Purple Black Letterman Style Jacket XlJohn Lynch Throwback Tampa Bay Buccaneers Superbowl Jersey (reebok) Size 52Hot 2012 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Football Championship Rings Size LargeSelling 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Championship Rings Size 10 LargeClassic 1966 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Championship Rings World Size 11 Large2007 National Treasures Hines Ward * Willie Parker #/10 Super Bowl Signatures Drew Brees Signed Autographed Super Bowl Xliv Mini Helmet Proof CoaTicket Stub Super Bowl 48 Xlviii Denver Seattle Seahawks 2/2/14 With Lanyard2012 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Ring - "flacco"2007 National Treasures Len Dawson * Alan Page #/10 Super Bowl Signatures Wilson The Duke Green Bay Packers Pete Rozelle Football 1967 Super BowlLynn Swann Rookie Card 1975 Topps #282 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl X MvpSteelers Roethilisberger/polamalu/miller + 6 Auto/signed Super Bowl 43 FootballMen's 2001 Super Bowl Xxxvi New England Patriots World Series Championship RingLtd Edition Sewn Junior Seau Superbowl Mitchell N Ness Jersey Size 54/2xlRay Lewis Ravens Jersey Superbowl Patch Baltimore S New