Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Giants' David Tyree: A New (Autograph) Star Is Born

A month ago, I wrote a blog statingthat if the New England Patriots won it all, Wes Welker would be the greatest beneficiary in terms of autograph dealsWhy? Because you don't think of Welker as an immediate star, but he became such an integral part of the Patriots this year that no team helmet would be complete without him.

Well, now the Patriots have lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl, Wes Welker equals David Tyree: a guy who not too many people were concerned about collecting before his Super Bowl performance, which featured one of the greatest plays of all time. You've all seen it by now, complete with the Eli Manning scramble and Tyree's catch behind his head.

There's not an official name for the catch yet, but New York sports talk radio callers have suggested names like "The Boston Massacronnection" and "Miracle in 42nd," the latter referring to the Super Bowl number.

Now the scramble is on to get an exclusive autograph deal with Tyree, who had five catches all year, but he somehow had three catches in the Super Bowl, including the big one and a five-yard touchdown. Sources tell CNBC that two of the competing companies are Steiner Sports, who has exclusive deals with many Giants, and a company called BC Sports.

"Not many people cared about David Tyree before the Super Bowl," said Gil Pagovich of Maxximum Marketing, who is deeply involved in the sports autograph industry. "Right before the Super Bowl, you could have booked Tyree for $1,500 for a couple hours. Now he's going to get an exclusive autograph deal worth six figures."

The demand is certainly way up for Tyree. In the entire week leading up to the Super Bowl, 15 Tyree items were sold on eBay . That's a big difference from yesterday when 114 Tyree items were sold. The day before the game, most Tyree eBay items weren't getting bids. Today, the average Tyree item on eBay is getting at least four bids and a painting of Tyree's catch is selling for $255 on the site right now.

Rising Mercury

The day of the Super Bowl, Mercury Morris had a heated interview with ESPN's David Lloyd on ESPNEWS. Morris was spouting his usual lines about his 1972 Dolphins, insisting how their undefeated season would be the same as the Patriots undefeated season, even though the Patriots would have won two more games. Well, now that the Patriots lost, Morris has a new line to his signature: "I told you so!" A ball, signed by Morris, is being offered for the first time in an auction for Gridiron Greats, an NFL players assistance fund. The ball says "Mercury Morris, 1972....2007. I told you!" So far, the ball is going for $500, but I anticipate that number will rise before it sells in five days.

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