PSA/DNA tags Super Bowl items to prevent fakes

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Once the Super Bowl is over, sports fanatics will scour the Internet and auction houses for pieces from Super Bowl XLVI — especially if their team wins.

Officials from the NFL and PSA/DNA Authentication Services are teaming up to ensure collectors get exactly what they pay for.

More than 100 footballs will used in the match-up between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants on Sunday and every one will be marked with invisible ink. The pylons and coins will also be tagged. The markings can only be seen when illuminated by a special laser frequency.

“The DNA ink has an astronomical 1-in-33 trillion chance of being accurately reproduced by counterfeiters,” said Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA. “Many of the game-used Super Bowl footballs are sold by the NFL through charity auctions. The PSA/DNA certification combats potential counterfeiting and helps assure future owners that each ball is genuine.”

This is the 14th year the NFL has used PSA/DNA to prevent counterfeit Super Bowl footballs from making it to the market.

This process could also have the unique ability to identify when the football was used. Perhaps it was the ball from a game-tying play or a pivotal field goal.

“The value of any game-used Super Bowl collectible can vary significantly depending on the importance of the specific item. For example, was the particular football caught for a touchdown or used for a game-winning field goal?” Orlando said.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

8 Comments

  1. Posted Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink

    yea i carrie one of those special laser’s detectors, come on give me a break, this is a lame excuse to try and get around the fact that those 3 idiots in NY that got busted for selling fake game used stuff, they claim they are not sure if the card companys got the stuff, they know but they won’t admit it, it would be the final knife in the back. 14 years what makes this year so special, COME ON STOP THE MADDNESS, if you wanted to make sure that its not fake buy it from the team directly, cut out possibility of fraud.
    this is just a marketing thing.

  2. chrisolds
    Posted Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 05:28 PM | Permalink

    Pre-marking the balls is an added safety measure … and it’s been done for some time, Charles.

    Your not knowing the marking is so it can’t be copied. Buying straight from the source is fine … the first time an item is sold. Items like these will often pass hands more than once.

  3. Richard
    Posted Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 07:20 PM | Permalink

    OK Chris, but how do people further down the food chain check it out?
    Even if you buy it at the first auction you have no way of knowing if it got switched
    out, etc. The more time it changes hands, the greater the potential for problems.

    It’s a bit like the problem with authenticity holograms. If there is no way to look up
    the number, then someone can just remove one from a legit item and paste it.
    Suddenly someone has a “rare” buyback card. I’m pretty sure you can look up most of
    the upper deck stuff, but I don’t see a way to look up Topps.

  4. Hscshooter
    Posted Thursday February 2nd, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Hey Chris,

    Who are these so called PSA/DNA experts?

  5. chrisolds
    Posted Thursday February 2nd, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    The footballs are pre-marked. If you own one or are considering buying one after-the-fact, you can contact PSA to assure that the ball is legit and not one bought from Wilson.

    It’s not that complicated.

    It’s also something MLB has done on its own in similar ways during runs toward notable home runs.

  6. Posted Thursday February 2nd, 2012 at 04:42 PM | Permalink

    thats fine i understand the reason they do that but say you see one on e-bay for action, is the guy going to let you have it tested before you bid, or will you have to what till you get it then send it in and have it tested. ok then its a fake know you have to try and fight with the seller who would say the one i sold was real. now its your word against his and ebay i don’t trust them as far as i could through a bull. i think if you want to sell it you should have a middle man like PSA/DNA, i know this mite sound a bit extreme, but there’s way to much to lose. PSA/DNA should have a service set up that when an item like this is sold send it to them have them check it then send it to the one who bough, it it mite cost a little but it would save you in the end

  7. john isle
    Posted Friday February 3rd, 2012 at 04:15 PM | Permalink

    charles if you buy it on ebay get it tested and if it is a fake contact ebay and you have ebay buyers protection and you can get every cent back

  8. Posted Saturday February 4th, 2012 at 07:36 PM | Permalink

    IF IT WERE THAT EASY, AND BESIDES THERE ARE OTHER SITE AND AUCTION’S NOT ON LINE, MY POINT IS THAT IF THOSE GUYS IN NEW YORK CAN GET AWAY FOR YEARS WITH SELLING FAKES TO DEALERS AND CARD COMPANYS, THERE HAS TO BE SOMTHING THAT IS EASIER, I TRIED TO EXPLAIN IN MY COMMENT ABOVE BEFORE ANY MONEY CHANGES HANDS SEND IT TO PSA/DNA HAVE IT CHECK IF ITS GOOD RELEASE THE MONEY AND SEND THE ITEM AS CHRIS SAYS ” ITS NOT THAT COMPLICATED ” BUT MY UNEDUCATED SELF FROM SAN ANTONIO MITE NOT UNDERSTAND YEA CHRIS WE;VE MET IN SAN ANTONIO AT WHATS ON SECOND

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