Whether it's the holidays, a birthday, or just because, shopping for sports enthusiasts isn't always simple or straightforward. They likely have a closet full of clothes and hats branded with their favorite teams' logos, and goodness knows they don't need another mug or water bottle.
That's exactly why we put together this guide with 15 gift ideas for sports lovers. With options for every budget, interest, and level of intensity (we all know someone who's a fairweather fan at best), you're sure to find at least one or two things worth gifting.
Best Gift Ideas for Sports Lovers
When you think about gift ideas for sports lovers, tried-and-true standbys like jerseys and autographed photos surely come to mind. Those are great (they're go-to's for a reason, after all), but consider thinking outside the giftbox.
The Wander Club makes unique sports-themed Wanderchains — specifically, a Football Wanderchain and a Baseball Glove Wanderchain. They're both made from upcycled footballs and baseball gloves, respectively, so each tells a one-of-a-kind story. This is exactly the type of thing sports fans love!
2. The Wander Club Stadium Tokens
Speaking of Wanderchains, you're going to want to a few things. And by "things," we mean Stadium Tokens.
Just like countries, cities, states, national parks, or other landmarks you visit, you can collect Football Stadium Tokens or Baseball Stadium Tokens. This is an excellent, unique way to show off team spirit and travels, making them one of the best gift ideas for sports fans.
3. Game Tickets
For true fans, it doesn't get much better than seeing a game in real life and getting to experience all the fast-paced action up close. Gift a pair of tickets and be sure to be extra nice, so maybe you'll be invited to take the extra seat.
4. Ball or Sporting Equipment
You don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel — or in this case, ball. If the sports fan you're buying for actually enjoys playing sports, a new baseball glove or bat, golf clubs, football, pair of boxing gloves, or running shoes all make some of the best gift ideas for sports fans.
5. Sports-themed Video Game
If the person you're shopping for enjoys a different type of game, an exciting sports video game makes one of the best gifts for sports lovers.
6. Stadium/Arena Tour or VIP Experience
We suggested this idea in our guide to the best unique football gifts, and we love it so much we're mentioning it here too. For a truly dedicated sports fan, gifting them a behind-the-scenes tour or experience at their favorite team's home turf will absolutely win the holiday.
7. Meet n Greet With Their Favorite Player
Consider this one step above a stadium/arena experience. Sports fans will go wild for this special experience, where they'll get a chance to shake hands, take a photo with, and have a few minutes of one-on-one time with a favorite player.
Not all players or teams offer these experiences, and if and when they do, it's for a very limited number of people. To find something like this, simply search "[player or team name] meet and greet."
8. Book About the History of Their Favorite Sport
True fans' interest and dedication runs far deeper than game days and playoffs. Organized sports, as a whole, have a fascinating history, so consider a book covering exactly that as one of your gift ideas for sports lovers.
You'll find a mind-boggling selection of sports, players, and teams, but we highly recommend Gods at Play: An Eyewitness Account of Great Moments in American Sports. This book is sure to be a hit with even more casual sports fans.
9. Sports History Prints From Etsy
Keeping with the history theme, another of the best gift ideas for sports lovers is print or artwork. This series of "history of" prints on Etsy has options for everything from the history of the baseball and basketball to tennis rackets and baseball helmets over time.
10. Personal Coaching From a Favorite Coach or Player
Like meet and greets, this special experience may not necessarily be the easiest to find, but it is well worth the splurge if you can. Your sports fan will go wild getting this unforgettable experience, especially if he or she actively plays a sport.
11. Time at a Batting Cage or Driving Range
Regardless of how skilled they may be (or may not be...), time at a batting cage or driving range is one of the best gift ideas for sports lovers. Most offer gift certificates or gift cards, but step it up a notch and offer to take your giftee and spend a few hours together.
12. Ticket Stub Diary
Many people collect ticket stubs for sporting events, concerts, and more, but then what? If you're like us, they tend to collect in drawer corners, the bottoms of various bags, and serve as wrinkled, makeshift bookmarks.
This super cool Ticket Stub Diary from Uncommon Goods offers the perfect solution, which just happens to be one of the best gifts for sports fans. Now, not only do you have a central place to keep these fun souvenirs, you can also add some details to remember more of that particular event.
Note: Uncommon Goods also sells a Travel Stub Diary, which makes a fantastic gift for someone who travels frequently.
Also commonly called "Bags," this fun, simple game goes hand-in-hand with sports (i.e.; tailgating). Best of all, you don't need any special skills or prior experience to enjoy playing!
14. LEGO Stadium
This fun gift is certainly not just for kids! LEGO makes a variety of elaborate stadium building kits, including major football, soccer, and baseball stadiums. This gift will set you back some, but it'll also provide hours of fun and likely become a display piece.
15. Collectors' Memorabilia
Finally, one of the best gifts for the most diehard sports lovers is something rare or unusual. Most towns have sports memorabilia shops, or you can search online (eBay is excellent for this type of gift!) for collectors' items.
Start by searching for a specific team or player, then branch out to a more broad sport.