Over 100 footballs will be used in the 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 game-opening coin toss will be marked, too.
The National Football League again 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.
“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 game in Indianapolis between New England and New York.
A PSA/DNA representative will be in Indianapolis to 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.
“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.
This is the 14th consecutive year the NFL has used PSA/DNA Authentication Services to protect against potential future counterfeiting of game-used Super Bowl footballs. In addition to the footballs, PSA/DNA will “tag” the pylons used in the upcoming game and the coin used for the opening coin toss.
Game used footballs have a following among collectors. Several–including some Super Bowl balls from years past–are now on eBay.