01-17-2013, 09:12 PM #1
ITG turned down NHLPA license this summer
In The Game’s Dr. Brian Price weighed his options.
Last summer, he was presented with a proposal – the opportunity to receive an NHL Players Association license for one year, producing two releases. Create NHLPA-licensed cards, and utilize rookies and stars in a potential locked out season? Or continue ITG’s strategy?
Price turned down the proposal.
“Sometimes the deals you don’t make are your best deals,” Price said.
Had he accepted the proposal, Price would have suffered from this season’s lockout and the loss of new Rookie Cards, a decision announced Wednesday by the NHLPA.
The exclusion of additional rookies in 2012-13 should have the greatest impacts on card store owners, something that worries Price.
“I have great concerns for the dealers whose primary sales come from hockey trading cards. While these dealers struggled during the hockey lockout, they anxiously waited for the game to get back on the ice so that they could enjoy ‘business as usual,’” Price said. “Well the lockout was resolved, but this announcement seems to be just as devastating.
“Let’s face it – the dealers are the core of the industry and without them, collectors would not be able to find the products they are looking for.”
Even so, Price understands how he can affect the marketplace. He still intends to produce products such as Heroes and Prospects coming out at the end of January and Motown Madness coming out in February. Price will also increase dealer programs to help traffic, a way to offset this season’s diminished card offerings.
“As a collector myself, I don’t feel that this decision is a good one,” Price said. “There is a season, although shortened. There are rookies playing this year. It is not like the 2004-05 season where there was no choice.”
While Price is disappointed by the decision to exclude new rookies, he also realizes how difficult the situation was.Trade Bucket: Hidden Content
01-17-2013, 09:29 PM #2
This sucks. I really wish ITG had a licenceI collect Tiger Williams and other tough guys and fighters AND I PAY WITH CASH
LOOKING FOR 2010-11 PANINI ALL GOALIES STOPPER SWEATERS PATRICK ROY Hidden Content
01-17-2013, 09:42 PM #3
He had previously disclosed this information to SCF members during a live chat session a couple months ago. Nice to see him expand on it a bit.
01-17-2013, 10:18 PM #4
Bolded Portion for emphasis
I wanted to give my reaction to the NHLPA’s announcement yesterday about the fact that there will be no “Rookie Cards” in the 2012-13 products and the announcement from Panini that several of their 2012-13 products are being cancelled.
My reply is multi-faceted.
I have great concerns for the dealers whose primary sales come from hockey trading cards. While these dealers struggled during the hockey lockout, they anxiously waited for the game to get back on the ice so that they could enjoy “business as usual”. Well the lockout was resolved but this announcement seems to be just as devastating.
Let’s face it; the dealers are the core of the industry and without them collectors would not be able to find the products they are looking for.
From now until the end of this season, In The Game will continue to manufacture and deliver quality products to our dealers. We will also increase our dealer programs to help “drive traffic” to our dealers and try to bridge the gap until the start of the 2013-14 products.
As a collector myself, I don’t feel that this decision is a good one. There is a season, although shortened. There are rookies playing this year. It is not like the 2004-5 season where there was no choice as there were no rookies taking the ice.
Having said that, I am sure there are factors that went into this decision that are way over my head. If both Upper Deck and Panini agreed to this solution; then who am I to judge their rationale.
The lockout was about money, plain and simple. Is this decision about money as well?
Ask yourself that question, not sure I know the answer.
On a third front, I am certainly glad that I did not accept the NHLPA’s proposal this summer for a two-release one-year license. Had I done so, my first obstacle would have been the lockout and then my second obstacle would have been no rookies.
Sometimes the deals you don’t make are your best deals”.
01-17-2013, 11:15 PM #5
As much as it'd be nice to see ITG get a license, it'd probably drive prices up (licensing fee isn't cheap I'd imagine) and to me it'd take away from the uniqueness of the product with not the same old shoot photo and jersey. I like the fact that all of their game-used cards are that: game-used. Not photo used. Not saying that'd happen, but it is a possibility with the rookies.
Either way, Dr. Price went with what he thought was the best decision for his company and for the hobby as a whole. Kudos to him.
01-18-2013, 10:15 AM #6
01-18-2013, 10:56 AM #7
Having a license would give them a larger ability to be more creative with designs and photos.
Last edited by jester240; 01-18-2013 at 10:59 AM.
01-18-2013, 11:01 AM #8
When Dr. Price mentioned this before - I got the impression that if he agreed to their deal, he'd only get those two releases...... that he would also have to agree to stop producing sets that didn't use a license. (In other words - If he were to make Ultimate Memoribilia & Between The Pipes... as examples.... using the new license, ITG would have to stop making other products). Limiting the company to only two releases would have killed it, even if those two products were enhanced due to the agreement. Maybe I misunderstood (wouldn't be the first time, lol) but that's how I understood what he said at the time.
IMO - It looks like he probably dodged a bullet. While I'm not usually much of a consipracy nut, when you consider that they were offering only a 1 year license (for this season) and the decisions that were made by the PA (and other manufacturers) this week, I really have to wonder......
NHL / PA were headed into a lockout. PA knows this. They also know that they're going to play hardball..... at least for a while. A shortened season is a real possibility. While trading cards may not be at the top of their priority list... you can be sure there is an executive that's in charge of the PA's dealings with card manufacturers, and maximizing their revenues. Someone that would have to have a plan going forward, and how to deal with a shortened season.
I would guess that the PA always intended to tell UD and Panini that they shouldn't make RCs of 2012-13 players, if a shortened schedule happened. This was something they had figured out last summer. It probably means that they gave back some of the license money. If this was part of their plan all along..... offering a 1 year deal to ITG (during a no-new-RC / shortened season) would have recouped some of that money.
I do hope I'm wrong though, and the PA is serious about adding a 3rd manufacturer. ITG makes great cards, and they'd only get better (IMO) with a license.
01-18-2013, 11:31 AM #9
01-18-2013, 11:49 AM #10
30randfordfan you are correct in your assumptions.
As I said in my Blog, sometimes the deals you don't do are your best deal.
I am not a conspiracy theorist but a lockout always loomed large in my decision. The most relevant reason for not doing the deal was only being able to do two releases.
I could not keep my staff and other overhead in line with two releases even if they were licensed.
It seemed like I was being offered a chance to be "licensed out of business".
I will keep applying for licenses but don't hold your breath.
In the interim, I personally and In The Game corporately will do everything in our power to support the hobby.