The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 16, 2010

Sports memorabilia makes trendy home decor

Sports-related memorbilia needs to be well protected

By Joe Malan, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — On Deck has an enormous collection of sports memorabilia, from signed Brett Favre jerseys to Oklahoma Sooners shot glasses to baseball cards.

Greg Williams, co-manager of the store in Oakwood Mall along with his brother Jeff, said knowing what memorabilia you want to buy is great, but you also must know how to properly display the items.

But before you even think about how to display your sports memorabilia, there’s one important thing to do, Greg Williams says — get them insured.

“One of the most important things of all is they have to get insurance on their stuff,” he said.

Homeowners should be able to get the items covered on their regular homeowner’s policy.

A big reason to protect your things is because most memorabilia items are numbered. There are limits put on certain items. For example, a display may read “1 of 500” on it. That means there are only 500 of those items out on the market.

That makes them even more rare, Greg said, and you definitely don’t want to take a chance in losing it.

Here are other tips Greg and Jeff provide for displaying and keeping your sports memorabilia in pristine condition:

• Put ’em in cases. If you’re buying things like helmets or sports jerseys, acrylic cases are the way to go. A case that provides the minimum protection for ultraviolet sun rays will go for about $29.95, and a high-end one can be bought for $99.95. Light, along with humidity, will do a good job at destroying your valuables, Greg said, so make sure they are properly encased.

• You can buy cases for sports cards, too. Most are inexpensive. You can get a screw-on case for some of your most valuable cards, and you also can buy plastic sleeves for some of your less expensive items.

• Make sure whatever you buy has a certificate of authenticity, but don’t display it. All authentic items, such as signed jerseys and worn helmets, have a special certificate that verifies the item you bought is indeed genuine. Jeff suggests keeping all certificates of authenticity stored away in a lockbox, because the certificate itself is valuable.

“The very first thing we’re going to ask for is a certificate of authenticity,” Jeff said, or On Deck won’t buy a sports memorabilia item from you. So also when you want to sell an item, make sure it has the certificate, or nobody will buy it.

• When you’re attaching something to the wall, don’t hammer in the frame from the front. Greg and Jeff both said they’ve seen people who have nailed their pieces in on the frame, and that will damage the value of the piece.

• Use indirect lighting in the room. Direct light will harm your memorabilia, so use indirect lighting in the room that doesn’t damage the work, but still showcases it.

Here are some other tips from Erinn Valencich, a recognized interior designer on HGTV:

Get creative with color

“First, work with your local custom framer, who will ensure pieces are framed to the highest quality,” Valencich suggests. “Request matboard that matches the team’s colors to

im-mediately call the team to mind. The Crescent Select Impact Colors matboard line is ideal for this, as it features exact color matches for every college and professional sports team.”

Mix sizes, shapes, materials

“When framing sports pictures, choose different shapes, textures and auxiliary elements in order to create a memorable gallery wall that can become a tribute to a favorite team,” says Valencich. “I recommend choosing two to three primary pieces to be the focal point of the wall grouping and supplement them by also framing pennants, jerseys, trading cards, game programs and other meaningful memorabilia for a unique design. It’s the mix of sizes, shapes and pieces that really make a collection sing.”

Capture personal experiences

Valencich also suggests turning a picture of a sports fan’s favorite player, team or stadium into a unique gift. She recommends incorporating several memorable pieces into a single custom-framed piece, such as a photo of the family from a game combined with a ticket stub or program. “By personalizing with a photo, framed sports memorabilia can become a conversation piece that chronicles a special sporting event your family attended,” she adds. Professional custom framers can bring individual pieces of memorabilia together in a high-quality, cohesive piece.

Find the perfect place

Valencich believes sports memorabilia makes a much bigger statement when grouped together in one area. “When displaying sports pictures and memorabilia, choose a room that is the most personal to the family’s sports en-thusiast, such as a children’s bedroom, an office, den or entertainment room,” suggests Valencich.

ARAcontent contributed to this story.