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The sports memorabilia market is set to hit US$227.2 billion by 2032, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8 per cent over the next ten years, according to new data from Market Decipher.
The report from the market research and consultancy firm estimated the sports memorabilia market size at US$26 billion in 2021. Non-fungible token (NFT) sports collectibles are currently estimated at US$1.4 billion and are forecast to reach US$92 billion by 2032.
Though the NFT segment is seeing much faster growth, due to its nascent industry nature and quick adoption, the memorabilia industry is still leading in the sports collectible sector, the report continues.
Market Decipher states that several factors have led to sports memorabilia prices increasing significantly in the last few years. This includes the increasing wealth of baby boomers, the presence of millennials in the market and the rising interest from foreign buyers.
Game-used items such as balls and jerseys are very much in demand, while baseball trading cards held ‘a remarkable market share’ in 2021. Sports apparel jerseys currently hold a 30 per cent market share.
Excluding trading cards and NFTs, the core sports memorabilia market is estimated at US$12.2 billion in 2021, growing at a rate of 15.6 per cent from 2022 to 2032. 
The mainstream physical collectibles market is expected to remain stable. However, Market Decipher notes NFTs taking a ‘downward flip’ by the end of the year, as well as decline in the worth of cryptocurrencies. Even so, the report says that the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Top Shot digital collectibles platform, which has touched over US$1 billion in sales in two years, still holds vast growth potential.
Market Decipher adds that NFT sports collectibles are expected to witness exponential growth of 38 per cent from 2022 to 2032. NFTs will also cross half the physical collectibles value by 2032.
The study cites auction sites such as Ebay and Auction of Champions for helping to transform the sports collectibles and memorabilia industry.
Per sport, football leads sports memorabilia industry sales by US$2.5 billion, considering memorabilia sales only, according to Market Decipher. The trading card business also brings in about US$2.5 billion in sales for football collectibles. The NBA, the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have been identified as collectively holding the majority of the market share.
The United States leads the industry on a regional basis with around 70 per cent of the market in 2021. Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries are picking up swiftly and experiencing growth of 34 per cent in the overall sports memorabilia collectibles market.
China remains a huge market for collectibles and India is emerging as a major NFT destination. The UK leads the European market. The Middle East region is also predicted to experience a growth of 29.8 per cent during the forecast period.


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