Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
The business and world of sports memorabilia is huge. When items like game worn jerseys or game used equipment can be used to raise money for charities, it is such a wonderful thing. Here in North America we see a lot of NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB professional sports memorabilia, and charity auctions that incude game worn jerseys or equipment is very common.
Just recently in Japan, there was a project called the “2015 Summer Yahoo Charity Auction”. This project was aligned with International Charity Day (September 5th), and its’ purpose was to bring awareness to charitable activities. The project asked celebrities and athletes to provide items for auction for charitable benefit. Of the 100 items they collected for auction, Yuzu was one of those athletes that provided an item.
Yuzu wore a cycling jersey that represented the Tour de Tohoku, which is like the Tour de France concept. The Tour de Tohuku bike race is centered around the earthquake affected area of Tohoku. Yuzu recorded a short message to support the auction/charity. He then autographed the bike jersey on the back. Any monies raised by this item would be donated to the charity that supports the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster relief.
During the 7 days of auction bidding, I found myself constantly checking the status of Yuzu’s item, and hitting the refresh button many times!! I couldn’t believe how quickly the price was going up! The bidding war started, and the top bid was quickly raised to about 700,000 yen!!
Then, a person asked the auctioneer whether or not the item had been washed. The auctioneer responded that in fact, the item had been laundered. Many fans were upset, and wanted to retract their bids, and the auction allowed them to cancel their bids. Upon bidders hearing this news, the top bid amount dropped over 200,000 yen!! Allowing the bidders to cancel their bids is unusual but in the end it did not matter. The final winning bid was 1,977,000 yen!! That is about $21,600 CDN!!
To help understand how significant this auction was, I needed to put it into perspective. So, I started to compare it to some NHL hockey game worn jersey auctions. NHL hockey players may wear many jerseys throughout a season, and sometimes “wear” a jersey for the purpose of making them game worn for charitable auctions. So while a game worn jersey in the NHL would still be very special, there can be many “game worn” jerseys from high profile players. The higher value of a game worn jersey would come from it being worn during a special moment in history.
So, first, I checked into Alexander Ovechkin jerseys!! The highest price I found for one of Ovie’s game worn jerseys was $9,190 (USD). I was actually quite surprised that it was not higher, as this jersey was worn when he scored his 500th point in the NHL!!
Yuzu’s auction item was not related to figure skating at all. We just found out recently that Yuzu does in fact, only have one version of each of his competition and ice show costumes, so anything “worn” by Yuzu would be unique and one of a kind!! Any item that is “one of a kind” would be rare and would definitely drive up the price and value of the auction item.
Of course, as I was a bit surprised that the amount was not higher on the Ovie jersey, I decided to check out Gretzky jersey auctions. The highest one I found was a Gretzky jersey that went for $356,104 USD. Now that price made more sense to me, it was the price range I was expecting. Well, spending over a quarter million dollars on a Gretzky jersey to hang it on a wall didn’t make that much sense, but I had this dollar figure in mind when I first started my search.
Given that the highest price I could find for an Ovie game worn jersey was under $10K (USD), I am even more impressed by the +$20K winning bid for Yuzu’s bike jersey!! Now that is certainly “star power“.
Imagine if Yuzu put up his World record setting Parisian Walkways costume up for bid in an auction, I can’t imagine how much it would take to be the winning bid for that piece of history!! I am sure it would set a record for any figure skating memorabilia ever auctioned off for charity.
So, how do you put a dollar value on an item? Is the bike jersey worn by Yuzu worth over $21,000 CDN? I think anything worn by Yuzu would be priceless!!
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki doki!!