From the time a child begins playing his or her first organized soccer, to playing baseball on a collegiate level, to becoming a world class basketball player in the MBA, there’s one thing that accompanies all teams that perform better than all the rest: the sports trophy. Sports trophies differ from employee recognition awards, for instance, in that they are usually more artistic and even flamboyant in design and construction.

Says EDCO, designers and manufacturers of custom trophies, sports trophies for every level of athlete can be created from glass, crystal, polished metal, and acrylic materials. Some of the most popular awards are cut in-house to a pre-approved shape and printed in full color. While the trophy will look as beautiful as it is durable, the creation of a custom sports trophy from design to manufacturing, is relatively quick and simple.

With that in mind, what are some of the most cherished sports awards from around the world? According to a recent report from B Online Sports,there is nothing quite like watching a championship team embracing their much-contested sports trophy immediately after a heated game or match. Regardless of the sport, medals and trophies have come to symbolize the hard work and the sacrifices an entire team of athletes engaged in all season long.

Here’s a sample of the wide world of cherished sports trophies.

American Football: The Vince Lombardi Trophy

Named after the iconic NFL coach who led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championship titles in just seven years, the Vince Lombardi Trophy can only be awarded today after a team wins the highly competitive Super Bowl.

Every year a brand-new trophy is manufactured at a cost of around $50,000. It is also said to take around four months for the trophy to be completed. Tiffany & Co. has been awarded the contract for the 22in tall, 7lbs., Lombardi trophy. It’s also said the trophy’s design was sketched on a cocktail napkin by then Tiffany VP, Oscar Reidner.

Pro Basketball: The Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy

Tiffany & Co. strike gold again with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship trophy. Now forty years old, the trophy is 2ft tall and created from 16lbs of sterling silver which is overlayed by 24-carat gold. With its life-sized basketball falling into a net, it is considered the world over to be one of the most stunning and well-crafted sports trophies in existence.

For a team to win the Larry O’Brien trophy, they must succeed at winning the NBA finals. Not an easy task considering the outstanding talent to be found on all NBA teams.

World Soccer: The FIFA World Cup

Said to be worth an estimated $20 million, the FIFA World Cup, 18-carat gold trophy was designed by Italian artist and sculptor, Silvio Gazzaniga. Every four years it is awarded to the Soccer World Cup finals winner.

Weighing in at close to 14 pounds, the FIFA trophy is about 15in tall. The design is said to mimic two athletes raising their arms and hands in victory while they also hold up the world. The country who wins the Soccer World Cup proudly has their name engraved at the base of the trophy.

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World Soccer: The UEFA Champions League trophy

The most respected and cherished club in world history, the EUFA Champions League trophy is almost 30in tall. It also weighs in at 16.5 lbs which means it’s one of the largest soccer trophies. Made entirely of sterling-silver, the current version of the trophy is the fifth to be constructed.UEFA General Secretary of Real Madrid was allowed to keep the second one back in 1967.

American/Canadian Hockey: The Stanley Cup

Says B Online Sports, Hockey’s Stanley Cup is the oldest championship trophy that’s awarded to a professional sports team. Back 1892, Canada’s Lord Stanley, the former aide of the governor-general purchased a punch bowl from a London silversmithas a reward for the top hockey club in Canada. That’s when the Stanley Cup and its tradition was born.

Initially measuring 7in and about 1ft in diameter, the trophy’s proportions have grown over the years. In the earlier part of the 20th century, uneven brandings were added to represent the names of every winning team to be inscribed and memorialized. These days, some of the bands must be removed to add room for new champions.

Trophies are a terrific way to memorialize a championship team whether the winning team is from grade school or a professional sports organization. Maybe teams come and go, but the trophies live on for generations.