Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Can a Hashtag Do For Your Sports Card Show?

Hashtags (image here) are playing a huge role in conventions and for our hobby - card and memorabilia shows.

Hashtags are used in twitter to identify a common subject for people to talk and share information about - the whole social component to social media. A hashtag is applied by someone when they are sending a tweet about the subject that people are following. For example, on Saturday, I was providing twitter updates on the CSAShow in Chantilly, VA. One of my twitter updates was, "Mike Ditka is running about 45 minutes late for his autograph session. #CSAShow."

Anyone following that hashtag (#CSAShow) would get that update.

This can be extremely helpful for people attending the card show and people hosting the show. If you are attending, you can read the comments that other people are making about a booth, autograph session or dealer. It makes the show smaller.

For example, I could send this via twitter, "The Triple Play booth was extremely helpful and gave great deals on some '52 Bowman cards. #CSAShow." That would helpful for others attending, the Triple Play dealer, and the show organizer.

Following a hashtag is easy and you don't have to be on twitter to do it.
1. Go to twitter.com
2. In the Search field (on the right), type: #CSAShow
- The search results will display and you can see everything said about the CSAShow.
- You can see pictures people sent via Twitter that go with the hashtag.
- Sure you had to go to the web site, but you don't need a twitter account to read it.

You can save the search or save the RSS of the search to your favorite RSS Reader. Getting it to send text messages to your phone or to your smart phone depends on the type of phone you have.

I'm a big fan of the hashtag for conventions and events. I think it makes the event smaller, brings a ton of information for people attending, setting up or hosting. There weren't too many doing it at the CSAShow this weekend, but do a search on #NSCCShow or #NSCC and see how much is going on for the National!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why Advertise You Sell By the Book?

I understand some people love book value and some people hate it. Some say you should go by eBay sale numbers and some say the book value is where price negotiations should be begin.

Regardless of your position, I can't understand why a dealer would put this label on his cards for sale. This photo was taken from a table at the CSA Show on Friday.

Have you ever gone to Target or Best Buy and bought an item that said, "Items are priced by MSRP." You'd look at the item and then move on. You probably wouldn't even pick it up.

Whether you're at a show or a Walmart, you want a good deal - or at least think you're getting a good deal.

I walked right by this table. I didn't even think about opening the binder. He may have had some great cards, but I bought from tables that wanted to work with you, move a product and create a good experience.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Former NFL GM and NFL Exec Likes Cards Too

You never know who you'll meet at a sports card show.

On Saturday, I ran into Charlie Casserly at a dealer's table while I was looking for some '62 Topps.

I was standing next to him looking through a binder when the dealer said to him, "haven't I done business with you before?" I answered, "That's Charlie Casserly from the Redskins and NFL Network."

I introduced myself to Charlie and took this picture with my cell phone. I must have ran into Charlie Casserly about ten times at the show. It was funny to see such a high powered executive with different teams and with the NFL just walking around the show with hardly anyone recognizing him.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 1 at the CSA Show

I made it to Day 1 of the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. The drive started a little rough with winter's last few inches of snow the night before, but the highways were clear.

My Journalism Board meeting at BGSU was moved to next week, so I was able to hit the road early and catch most of the show today.

The best part of the show today - FREE! Yes, the first day of the CSA Show is free. What a great way to promote the product and get people to keep coming back. I noticed a lot of people walking around today and most of the booths were set up. Psstt - The National . . . are you listening?

Some quick updates:

  • No autographs were today.
  • I saw a lot of the same vendors/dealers.
  • The show seems a lot smaller to me this time - sign of the times I guess.
  • It seemed there were more dealers advertising they were buying?!
Tomorrow's agenda:
  • Mike Ditka autographs
  • Lee Roy Jordan autograph
  • Herschel Walker autograph
  • Look for some missing 1962 Topps
I'll give a show report this weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grandmama - I Thought LJ Had a Great Future

I was a big Larry Johnson fan like 20 years ago. I started following him at UNLV, thought his future with the Charlotte Hornets was going to be awesome and then he couldn't get along with Alonzo Mourning.

Back injuries and a trip to the NY Knicks seemed to derail that future. He did have one of the best commercials though!

I don't collect many basketball cards, but I've held on to his one from Upper Deck for a while.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Card Show Weekend and Twitter

I'm packing my bags and heading the spring CSA Show this weekend.

I'm looking for some more 1962 Topps and getting autographs from some classic Dallas Cowboys players/coaches.

I should get there in time Friday to pick up my tickets and take a free sneak peak. Typically, CSA allows me to walk around the show on Friday night when I get there (5:00ish). It's great to not have to pay full price for a few hours of a show (are you listening National?).

I'll send some twitter updates from the show on Saturday by using the hashtag: #CSAShow or you can follow me on twitter.com/jamesryanj. You can RSS a hashtag to see everyone who comments on the show without joining twitter - same with RSS my tweets without joining twitter.

This is my first card show in months and I'm really looking forward to it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The National Sneak Peak Day Should Be Free

The National Sports Collectors Convention should have a free Sneak Peak day!

I went last year and the sneak peak wasn't much more than a view of retailers still setting up their booths and a parade of dealers wheeling their suitcases throughout the Cleveland I-X Center. Why did the sneak peak still cost $16.50?

This year, the price is the same - $16.50 (if you purchase ahead of time) and you only get 4 hours to check it out.

If it's a sneak peak, and not everything is set up, then let's make it free! It would bring more people in and get people excited about what they'll see in the coming days.

I posted this discussion on The National Facebook Group page. I encourage you to join the group and tell the folks at the National to make the sneak peak a free day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mail Day Phun from Phungo

Our phriends at Phungo brought some cheer to an otherwise grind of a week! I received some great cards in the mail this week:
- Emmitt Smith: UD Icons
- Keith Hernandez:UD PastTime
- Phungo Original Cards (Big Apple, John Maine, Johan Santana, Carlos Delgado)

Thanks for the cards this week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shaquille O'Neal - LSU March Madness

I don't collect many basketball cards, but I previously collected a ton of these 1992 Classic Draft Picks cards.

I had the O'Neil, Billy Owens, Alonzo Mourning and ton of the others. I always liked the action shots and the prices. These things were really cheap and it was easy to get the set. I don't think I have many now.

I admit . . . I thought Shaq and Chris Jackson (the guy who later wouldn't stand for the National Anthem) would take LSU to the final 4. Not so much.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The National Night at Camden Yards?

Could there be a "National Night at Camden Yards?"

Last fall I blogged wrote about a National Meet-up on the National Facebook group page. Recently, the discussion thread has picked-up speed and now there is talk of a "National Night" at Camden Yards on Thursday, August 5, 2010.

Super VIP ticket holders to this year's National Sports Collectors Convention will have the option of receiving two tickets to the Thursday Night game (8/5) or individual tickets to two different games.

This could be a lot of fun. John Broggi said he would provide more details to the National facebook group page as details with the Orioles are finalized.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Topps and Upper Deck: You Need More than a Fan Page

You need a Facebook Application.

It's great that Topps, UpperDeck and other card manufacturers have joined the Facebook tribes. Their fan pages are OK - they aren't at the level of Red Bull or Dunkin' Donuts. Both of them have been recognized for having killer facebook fan pages.

However, the Upper Deck page has more than 800 fans and there seems to be a lot of interaction. The Topps fan page is new and has around 100.

But we need more.

The fan page is great for getting the message out and talking to your customers, but let's interact some. I want a facebook application!

The card companies need to look beyond the fan page and navigation ads.

How about an interactive application that allows you to put any photo you have on your facebook page into your own trading card? This would be similar to the Topps My Trading Card page. You could:
- create your own set
- add it to your profile
- make it your avatar and
- order it directly from the facebook application.

Why not add yourself to the background of the photo like Topps did with the George W. Bush and Derek Jeter card?

Facebook fan pages were great in 2009. In 2010, we need to step it up and see some facebook applications.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When the Oscars and Sports Collectibles Collide

This just in: "The Blind Side" was a popular movie. If you're into the movie, Oscar Awards and offensive lineman, then MAB has the perfect collectible for you.

MAB Celebrity Services is offering an autographed movie poster of "The Blind Side." For $50 (plus shipping and handling), you can get "The Blind Side" movie poster autographed by Michael Oher.

To be honest, I haven't seen the movie, but for $50 . . . I'd like to have Sandra Bullock's autograph on there too!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ex-Mets Player Digs Graves

Insert your own joke here:
"He must be the team doctor."
"Is he digging Omar's career grave?"
"Is that something Bobby Bonilla can do?"

Ex-Mets player, Richie Hebner is a grave digger. The Detroit News recently did an interview with him on the subject.

Hebner discusses driving the hearse in the off season, "It takes some getting used to. For one thing, I have to drive 20 miles an hour. That's not easy. Plus, there's no one to talk to. I'm in the vehicle alone. I mean, I'm the only living person in the vehicle. The other guy doesn't have much to say."

The Centerfield Maz blog had a good article on this last year.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Card Bloggers Do Some Crazy Stuff

Last year I did some skydiving. It was a great experience and an awesome adrenaline rush. This year I'm doing my first polar bear plunge!

I'll take pictures and video of the event - no guarantees I'll have any that look like this one.

To benefit Special Olympics of Delaware, I'm diving in to the 2010 Lewes Polar Bear Plunge at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Our team name is Carol Bak's Beach Beauties and we're trying to raise $500 to benefit Special Olympics of Delaware. This is the first plunge that I'm doing with my cousin Carol - she's an athlete in the Special Olympics and has been doing this for years!

I'm doing the 5K run on Saturday, March 13 and the Polar Bear Plunge is Sunday, March 14. The water temperature is 37 degrees right now!

If you can, I'd really appreciate any contribution you can afford to this great cause. You can donate here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Baseball Free Agent Public Service Announcement

It's so touching, it's so bad, and there are too many Mets in this video.

Please, do your part to help your team rescue a baseball free agent.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jim Lansford - You Complete My Team Set

The satisfaction of a completed team set. It's hard to describe to non-collectors.

Thanks to an eBay purchase of Jim Lansford's 1952 Bowman Small, I'm sitting in the after-glow of a completed 1952 Dallas Texans team set.

This history of the 1952 Dallas Texans is pretty interesting. They only played one year in Texans before the remains of the team were sold to a Baltimore group who turned them into the Colts.

I met Art Donovan at a autograph show a few years ago - he gave some great tales about the Texans only win that season. It was a game against the George Halas Chicago Bears. It was a "home game" for the Texans in Akron, OH.

My completed 1952 Bowman Small Dallas Texans team set includes:
- Jim Lansford, 144
- Gino Marchetti, 23
- George Taliaferro, 89
- John Wozniak, 97
- Zollie Toth, 58
- Dan Edwards, 77
- Brad "Whitie" Ecklund, 35
- Art Donovan, 46
- Barney Poole, 11
- Art Weiner, 114
- James Hammond, 69
- James Phelan, 122

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

T206 Collection Book Signing at the National

The soon to be released, "T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories" will have a book signing at this year's National Sports Collectors Convention.

From the book's facebook fan page said today that authors Tom Zappala and Ellen Zappala (with Joe Orlando) will sign copies at the PSA booth on Wednesday, August 4th.

The T206 Collection book is scheduled to be released in April, 2010.

This information was also added to The National's Facebook Group page.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Work in the Sports Memorabilia Industry

Steiner Sports is accepting resumes to join their sports memorabilia team. I found the listing on their facebook fan page.

The listing doesn't specify if they are looking for help running their autograph shows, in store help, or someone to help their blog and social media exposure.

If you're interested, check out their sites and send an email to: acohensmith@steinersports.com with Steiner Sports Resume in the subject line.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Autograph Show

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is hosting an autograph event for HOFers who were first round draft picks. The event takes place Saturday, April 24.

Guests have not been announced yet, but there could be some great ones at this event like:
- John Elway
- Jim Kelly
- Bruce Matthews
- Troy Aikman
- Emmitt Smith