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Holiday Gift Guide SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2012


12 Gifts no sports fan should go without By Metro Creative F METRO CREATIVE


Sports fans enjoy indulging in their love of a particular sport with video games, making a new game an ideal gift for the family sports fan.


ew things make hol- iday shoppers hap- pier than giving a gift that instantly lights up a loved


one’s eyes. All the work that goes into finding and securing the per- fect gift becomes worth it and then some when the recipi- ent’s smile stretches from ear to ear. A great holiday gift often in-


volves someone’s favorite hobby. When gifting the family sports fan, the options are endless. Sports fans tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they’re liable to be just as vocal with appreci- ation if any of these gifts are waiting under the tree for them this holiday season. • Magazine subscription:


Christmas


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Many sports fans feel they can never get enough infor- mation on their favorite teams and sports. A magazine sub- scription to Sports Illustrated or another periodical focusing on a particular sport can pro- vide insider access for a year or longer.Magazine subscrip- tions are typically inexpen- sive, but they provide lots of bang for your gifting buck, es- pecially weekly publications. In addition, many magazines now give print subscribers ac- cess to exclusive content on- line, playing to your favorite sports fan’s ever-growing de- sire for more knowledge. • Sports apparel: According to IBISWorld, a California- based market research firm, online sporting apparel sales were expected to approach $5 billion in 2012. Driving those sales are sports fans who can’t wait to don the gear of their favorite teams. Apparel makes a great holi- day gift, whether it’s an au- thentic player jersey, a team logo hoodie or a personalized T-shirt that directly connects fans to their teams.


• Memorabilia: Sports memorabilia can be costly, but shoppers can still find great deals on everything from autographed items to relics of a franchise’s fledgling days. When shopping for memorabilia, be wary of auc- tions, where "shill bidding" can drive up the price of cov- eted items. Shill bidding oc- curs when owners bid on their own items at auction in an at- tempt to drive up the sale price. And authentication can be an issue with regard to sports memorabilia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been crack- ing down on fraudulent mem- orabilia. Shoppers without knowledge of the memorabilia industry might want to focus on less expensive items that will be a hit under the tree but won’t be a hit to their bank accounts. • Video games: Many


sports fans indulge in their love of a favorite sport by playing video games. Like most technology, video games are consistently rein- vented, so last year’s game might already be outdated, making video games an ideal holiday gift.Those who want to go the extra mile can in- clude a new gaming console along with the latest video game. • Tickets: Of course, sports


fans might like nothing more than tickets to see their fa- vorite teams play. Buying di- rectly from a sports team is a safe bet, but it can also be ex- pensive. Savvy shoppers can explore the legal secondary market, which includes online retailers like StubHub.com or even league-affiliated pro- grams like NFLTicket Exchange, where they might find more affordable tickets. When gifting tickets, do so far enough in advance of the game so fans have time to plan their trip and, if need be, take a day off from work.


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