Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Can You Do With $1,000? Buy Some Mets Cards!

Twenty-six years of Mets team sets could cost you just under $1,000.

I found this eBay auction this week that is selling every Mets team set card from 1962 - 1988. The auction appears to include the Seaver and Ryan rookies... and Ed Kranepool!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Easter Bunny Likes Baseball Cards in My House

I'm not big on giving out tons of candy to the kids. I'm not raising a pair of Todd Marinovich's, but I just don't want pass out chocolate and sugar by the basket. A little is fine. I'm have a soft spot for Peanut M&Ms and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but a basket filled with it? Not so much. 

Instead, the Easter Bunny at our house gives out baseball cards and packs of them. The boys usually get a few packs of Topps, maybe an Upper Deck pack, t-shirts, and some chocolate candy.

I'm thinking of getting a few Jumbo Topps packs and maybe even some old-school wax packs this year!

Friday, April 15, 2011

WWYD What Would Yogi Do?

Another series loss, a double-header sweep, and the season highlight so far is a series win against the Marlins on the road: What Would Yogi Do?

I really like this card with Yogi and his coaches. For me this card has three classic pieces:
1 - Yogi
2 - Any card with just the coaches is good for me
3 - The black/white coaches' heads on a yellow background is greatness!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Can We Have a National App for That?

There should be a National App. 

The road map to building apps has become easier. The programs are better and there are plenty of consultants ready to do the heavy lifting if you need it.

To take the National to the next step, they need an App for the National Sports Collectors Convention. Apps for conventions are almost common at this point. For comparison, I downloaded the StarWars Celebration V app to my iPhone. It's for last year's event, but the set-up for the National can be similar.

If I were designing the structure, I'd go this route: 
  • Home Screen - Sign up for email newsletter option and countdown to the National
  • News - latest official information and tweets. 
  • Guests - the National could use a Tri-Star autograph list
  • Schedule - Hours of the show and link to buy tickets. 
  • Fan Photos - Anyone can upload tickets to a Flickr page
  • Exhibitors - List of dealers attending the show
  • Map - Map of convention space
  • Travel - Travel information, hotels, trains, etc. 
Let's get this going.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who is that Vendor at the National?

When going to the National, it's nice to see some of the familiar faces and dealers that you've met at previous shows.  But most of the time you have no idea who these guys are.

I've met some great people at the National Sports Collectors Convention just by talking to them at their booth and getting to know them. I had to take the initiave to get to the know them and meet them. I think the National should help with this. It would assist the buyer and the seller.

Promote Your Product
Most of us the people who attend the National are not buying a product made by the people at the National, they are buying products made by the vendors at the National. I'd like to see the National help their vendors provide the following mandatory information on a sign at their booth or via QR Code:
  1. Vendor Name
  2. Vendor website and phone number
  3. Vendor location
  4. Number of years in business
The National can provide them with a sign template to display outside their booth and assist in the creation of the QR Code. This should be part of the mandatory requirements that vendors must do and provide in order to set up at the show.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tweet-up at the National

I've been blogging recently about Opportunities for Improvement with the National Sports Collectors Convention.

Assuming the National organizers recognize twitter (no evidence to support this yet), I'd like to see them organize a tweet-up. Other than posting prices on their facebook fan page, I haven't seen the National do a lot to hear what their customers are saying.

A National Tweet-up would provide organizers of the National to hear from their buyes.
  • What do they love about the National?
  • What bothers them? 
  • Where could areas be improved? 
These are all great questions anyone selling a product or service would love to hear from potential buyers.

My message to the National:
Use to schedule a tweet-up. Listen to their concerns. Give some door prizes to thank people for their time and interact with your buyers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blogger Central at the National Sports Collectors Convention

I'm continuing my blog posts on Opportunities for Improvement with the National Sports Collectors Convention. Last week I blogged about a Ron Santo charity, simple ticket prices and a free sneak peak.

These are all ways to improve partnerships, pricing, marketing and vendor opportunities with the National. Hitting those keys areas can make the National more than just a sports memorabilia show - it can become a premier conference standard.

My question to the National: Is this the media most influential to your buyers?
The answer: Probably not.

Most collectors and hobby enthusiasts are not referring to page 2 of the ESPN website for their hobby news. They are reading sites like this and this and forums like this. It's time the National made it easier for their most influential outlets to cover their event. They need to have a Blogger Central.

What is Blogger Central? 
It's a conference room with tables, chairs, outlets, free wifi and a place for bloggers to collect their thoughts and report on the National Sports Collectors Convention while they are at the event. Bloggers who want to write about the National should have to request credentials so they can have access to an area to report on their experience. Credentials should include:
  1. Access to Blogger Central room to report
  2. Access to some of the National organizers for interviews
  3. Access to behind the scenes of the National
Some of the blogs may not get the hits and media attention that some ESPN2 writers do, but in my opinion they are more influential to the buyers at the National.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday Night Should Be Free at the National Sports Collectors Convention

Why should we pay $18 for a sneak peak? It makes no sense to me, but that's what the National Sports Collectors Convention keep doing.

The first night of the National (Wednesday) is their "sneak peak" night. I went to the 2009 Cleveland National and "sneak peak" was code for "there's hardly anyone there."

The vendors were not completely set-up and the ones who were, several were not ready for customers. The big name card companies weren't running any promotions and most didn't have their tables ready.

The hours for the "sneak peak" are 4pm - 8pm. Why should we pay $4.50 an hour to attend a half-empty card show?

The "sneak peak" should become a Red Carpet Kick-off.
Let's do this right and do the following:
  • Make the show free on Wednesday Night Only
  • Have Ozzie Guillen, Mike Ditka or a Chicago legend cut the ribbon to open the show
  • Offer special raffle prizes to the first 100 or so people who walk through the doors
  • Team up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as I blogged about here.
  • Make it mandatory for booth owners to be set-up by 4:00.
  • Give collectors a cheerleader tunnel to run through as they enter the show. 
  • Have a band rock out some music as people wait in line and enter the show. 
  • Run some CCTV of the event with monitors placed in the show.
Change the opening of the show into an event instead of way to collect $4.50 an hour from every collector who shows up expecting every booth to be ready.