Super Bowl Footballs Tagged With Invisible Ink to Combat Counterfeits
February 03, 2010
Over 100 footballs will be used in the upcoming Super Bowl game, and to protect against possible counterfeiting every one of them will be “tagged” with a specially-prepared synthetic DNA ink that leaves an invisible-to-the-naked-eye security mark. The sideline pylons and even the coin used for the coin toss will be marked, too.
For the 12th consecutive year, the National Football League will use the world’s largest sports memorabilia authentication company, PSA/DNA Authentication Services of Santa Ana, California (www.psadna.com), to certify all footballs used in the Super Bowl. A PSA/DNA representative will mark each ball with a synthetic DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand that can be seen only when illuminated by a specific 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, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).
“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.”
About 120 footballs are expected to be used in the upcoming game.
A PSA/DNA representative will be in Miami to photograph and then carefully “tag” each ball with the special ink. The mark is invisible to the naked eye but fluoresces green when illuminated by the proper laser frequency. A letter of authenticity accompanies each Super Bowl football certified by PSA/DNA, and the certificates have tamper-evident labels with individual, serialized numbers that can be verified online at www.PSADNA.com.
“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?,” explained Orlando who also is Editor of the monthly Sports Market Report price guide magazine and author of the book, Collecting Sports Legends.
In recent years PSA/DNA has authenticated the bat used by Babe Ruth in 1923 to hit the first home run in the old Yankee Stadium, and certified Mickey Mantle’s 500th career home run baseball, Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run ball and bat, and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s famous “Black Betsy” bat.