Are exclusive autograph deals good for collectors?

In the latest round of exclusive autograph deals, Tony Romo signed with Upper Deck for a memorabilia contract. He joins a long list of athletes who have partnered up with various companies to offer their signatures on items that will only be available through that company.

I have a few thoughts on this. First, if the athlete signs enough that an item will be available to me when I want it, I have no problem with it. However, if I want a Romo signed jersey though UDA (or whomever) and they are not available, then I get perturbed. I know the idea behind these arrangements is not to flood the market, thus keeping values high and the exclusivity as a positive thing. But offering only a handful once or twice a year also defats the purpose of actually getting these in the hands of people.

Also, the prices can get a little extreme. Romo is a good quarterback and all, but paying $370 for an 8×10 signed photo is out of my league. Yes, I know it’s a legit autograph in a world that is filled with items of a questionable nature, but that’s a little high.

So I invite others’ thoughts on this topic. Do you buy from these exclusive deals (how else are you going to get a Tiger Woods signed pieces)? Do you feel the prices make it cost-prohibitive? Do you feel Romo is the new “face” of the NFL?

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