Sports Philatelists International (SPI)


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09 July 2020
Since 1962, Sports Philatelists International (SPI) has served the needs of both novice and experienced Olympic and sport stamp collectors worldwide.

SPI is a member of the American Philatelic Society and American Topical Association as well as a charter member of the International Association of Olympic Collectors (AICO). Although based in the United States, our members come from over 30 nations. 

Nearly every Olympic or sport collector will find a member among our ranks interested in their subject – to date, this includes some 72 sports and every Olympic Games from 1896 Athens to 2020 Tokyo (or 1924 Chamonix through 2022 Beijing, for Olympic Winter Games enthusiasts). In addition to philatelic material, many of our members enjoy adding collateral material to their collections, including post cards, programs, tickets and other ephemera.

Member benefits

1. The Journal of Sports Philately (JSP) is SPI’s full-colour, quarterly publication covering the many and varied themes of sports and Olympic collecting. Expect to find coverage of just about any sport from archery to yachting. Popular sports such as golf, baseball and tennis make more frequent appearances. Current and upcoming Olympic Games are covered in depth, often with first person accounts (almost like being there!).

Regular columns present worldwide new stamp issues and commemorative cancels from the USA. Major international auctions of Olympic and sports collections are summarised. Foreign sport & Olympic stamp periodicals are reviewed; some articles of interest are (with permission) translated into English and reprinted in JSP.

The journal, which has won awards in both national and international literature competitions, prides itself on its in-depth, insightful articles by experts in their collecting fields.

A selection of recent titles includes:

  • “Arnold Palmer – A lifelong friend of golf”
  • “Baseball at the 1900 Paris Olympic Games”
  • “Basketball Varieties and Mysteries from Italy”
  • “Joaquin Blume and the Impact of Politics on Sports in Spain”
  • “Korea Post at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games”
  • “Montreal’s “Big O”: Monumental Masterpiece or Financial Folly?”
  • “Oops! Mistakes and Curiosities in the Design of Tennis Stamps and Postmarks”
  • “Paris 1924, I Owe You”

2. SPI-published handbooks and monographs at special member prices.

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3. The SPI Membership Directory, published biennially, is available only to members. More than just a directory of names and addresses, it indexes collecting interests and location by state or country, making it easy to contact fellow members.

4. SPI’s website – provides additional content accessible only by members, including Olympic (2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018) and World Cup (2014 & 2018) checklists, digital versions of the most recent five volumes of the Journal of Sports Philately, and much more. 

The public area of the website hosts a great deal of content for the sport and Olympic collector and exhibitor: philatelic news from around the world, helpful information on how to develop a sport or Olympic collection, and Olympic host country checklists.

5. SPI Conventions are held every few years at a major philatelic show in the United States. Our next convention will be at the 2021 Great American Stamp Show in the Chicago area. We also sponsor exhibiting awards for the best sport and Olympic exhibit (both multi-frame and single-frame) as well as best novice and best youth exhibits.

A ONE-YEAR digital membership is just $15 (includes full access to all Members-Only areas of the website). Print subscriptions (includes full digital access) are $31 for US/Canada residents and $43 for overseas. Complete our easy on-line application and pay with PayPal!

For more information and to join, please visit us at:

Image captions:

Main image: 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games naval cover with U.S.S. Brooks postmark dated 8 August 1932 “Tenth Day / Xth Olympiad.”

  1. Arnold Palmer Golf Company meter dated 10 September – Arnold’s birthday.
  2. Paris Exposition postmark of 20 September – the date of the baseball game during the 1900 Paris Olympics.
  3. Italy 1991 Centennial of Basketball issue. “White Dot” constant plate variety in position 33.
  4. 1937 free frank on soldier postal card issued by the Antifascist Militias of Catalonia fighting against Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.
  5. 2018 PyeongChang (Korea) Olympic Winter Games. Colorful cover from the Damyang exhibition with Olympic cancels.
  6. Montreal's “Big O,” the 1976 Olympic Stadium, on a maximum card with special postmark.
  7. Tennis star Chris Evert’s named misspelled “Everet” on Sierra Leone stamp commemorating her 1988 match with Steffi Graf.
  8. 1924 Paris Olympic 50c imperforate Epinal variety on cover.