Growing The Sports Card Industry
by, 01-28-2009 at 11:33 AM (1599 Views)
The title of this article could easily have been, "knife-fighting over a shrinking sports card industry." I know I'm not the only one who thinks the sports card manufactures are more focused on fighting over a industry that is shrinking than spending the time and resources on growing the hobby we love.
In my estimation the vast majority of sports fans do not collect sports cards. I would even go further and say most sports fans have no idea how much sports cards have changed over the past 15 years. When I talk to friends that are avid sports fans and tell them about memorabilia embedded into cards and autographs they are surprised. Most have no clue about the evolution of the sports card market. 99.9% of sports fans do not collect sports cards. Why not focus on getting them into the hobby?
Today, kids are more focused on their xBox360 or Play Station 3 to even notice sports cards. If the sports card industry doesn't make some dramatic changes soon the long-term health of the hobby will suffer with high prices and less collectors. A good article to read on the current health of the market is 10 Things That Are Killing the Sports Card Industry Hobby by gatorboymike. Here are my suggestions to the card manufacturers on growing the sports card industry.
- Focus on bringing sports fans into the hobby and less time fighting over the existing customer base.
- Advertise at sporting events! Either place some ads on TV or at the events. When is the last time you saw an Upper Deck or Topps ad on TV or at a sporting event? I see tiny companies sponsoring the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, but no card companies.
- Focus on the youth of America, Europe and Canada! Give cards to kids that perform well academically in school. Sponsor some of the youth sport leagues like Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football.
- Spend time with the collectors! Get out of the corporate buildings and pop into some card shops. Join ALL of the sports card forums out there and read what collectors are saying.
- Expand internationally! Sports Cards are non-existent outside of the US, Canada and a few European countries.
These are not silver bullets that will fix the sports card industry in the short-term, but suggestions for the long-term health of the hobby. Focus on growing the industry vice knife-fighting over a shrinking hobby. Your customers will thank you for it and our community of sports card collectors will grow!