April 19th, 2010
In this article we will take a look at the sports autographs and sports memorabilia industry. First, we will take a look at the competitive landscape using Michael Porter’s five forces model then the benefits or value consumers receive.
Michael Porter created the Five Forces model to allow companies to understand the environment they compete in. This model will be used to analyze the sports autograph and sports memorabilia industry. The first force is “Barriers to Entry” and this determines what new companies are required to do to enter into the sports autograph and sports memorabilia industry. Companies are required to have financial funding to compete in this market to obtain sports memorabilia and contracts with athletes. Companies are also required to have a brand or reputation for sports autographs and sports memorabilia. Examples of companies competing in this industry are Steiner Sports, Hollywood Collectibles, AllAuthenticAutographs.com, Upper Deck and Mounted Memories. The second force is the “Level of Rivalry” or competition in the industry. The level of competition is high as there many companies, high fixed costs and low switching costs by consumers. Companies seek to gain market share of the sports autograph and sports memorabilia business by changing prices, product differentiation, vertical and horizontal distribution, and exploiting relationships with suppliers. The third force is the “Threat of Substitutes” which refers to what would consumers choose in place of purchasing a sports autograph of Tiger Woods. Substitutes for example would be going to sporting events or using the money to purchase items other that autographed sports memorabilia. The fourth force is the “Power of Buyers” and this refers to the power of consumers to influence price and decisions. Unfortunately, consumers do not have that much power to influence the price and quality of products because buyers are numerous and any single buyer does not control a large market share. The fifth force is the “Power of Suppliers” and relates to the athletes and teams that distribute sports autographs and sports memorabilia. Suppliers do wield power as there are only a limited number of gifted athletes and as such control the supply of getting quality sports autographs.
For consumers since there is strong rivalry among companies this means there are deals to be had. Companies are willing to do what it takes to win customers and keep customers. As of the writing of this article the following promotions were available on the Internet and these promotions may have since changed. Surveying various dealers, consumers can get free shipping, 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee, and various discounts off the total price. AllAuthenticAutographs.com provides a unique concierge service that will search various dealers for any sports memorabilia you are looking for and return a list of dealers, their corresponding prices and policies.
In summary, the sports autograph and sports memorabilia is a competitive industry for companies to compete in. As consumers, this is good news as there is a wide variety of choices which means that there are great deals in buying sports autographs and sports memorabilia of your favorite athlete.