Boys Collecting Sports Cards Grows From 9% to Over 40% According to Leading Kids Survey
Carlsbad, CA – (August 21, 2007) – Baseball cards have long been tied to our love of the national pastime. As much a part of our tradition as apple pie and family. And as such, it is no coincidence Upper Deck (UD) is determined to make sure there are baseball cards for future generations.
According to the latest KidSay Tracker, a monthly report created to monitor the spending habits and trends of youth respondents, Upper Deck is helping to inspire boys to start collecting baseball cards through its extensive marketing campaigns. The findings also show huge gains in the percentages of boys collecting baseball cards, in 2006 just 9% of boys reported they collect sports cards. In 2007, the percentage has grown substantially to over 40% of respondents claiming they collect sports cards. This is staggering growth. The report also shows that Upper Deck is clearly the baseball brand of choice for kids and tweens. This type of dedicated consumer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.
In fact, in 2006 and again in 2007 Upper Deck developed and implemented compelling advertising, promotions and a dedicated online site (www.upperdeckkids.com) to bring youngsters back to card collecting. Upper Deck also spent several million dollars to run targeted baseball television ads on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network during the past two MLB seasons.
The Kids Rewards loyalty program, another wide-scale marketing initiative, was introduced in early 2006, giving a new generation of collectors a compelling reason to buy baseball cards. The program allows kids to register their cards online (at UpperDeckKids.com). Every card has an alpha-numeric code on the back of every card. Each code is worth a random amount of Kids Rewards points, and those points can be used for cool and kid-friendly prizes, like Upper Deck baseball cards, videogames, game consoles, movie passes and once in a lifetime events with UD exclusive athletes.
“The increase in new kids collecting is a direct result of the effort put forth by Upper Deck to reach this group,” added Kerri Stockholm, Director of Marketing for Upper Deck. “We have shown our commitment to bring in youngsters by implementing several multi-tiered, multi-million dollar advertising, promotional and sponsorship campaigns for the past two MLB seasons. The Kids Rewards initiative was designed to give each card a value and to make baseball cards relevant to today’s kids by adding a revolutionary online component to keep them coming back every day of the baseball season.”
Upper Deck has also generously spent more in the 2006 and 2007 MLB season than it had in the previous decade combined. What has Upper Deck gained by spending so much cash? Upper Deck’s kids site has been on the receiving end of most of the positive gains. Upperdeckkids.com reports it has signed up more than 170,000 youngsters and they have redeemed more than 2,000,000 cards.
Success is also being felt among Upper Deck’s retail partners. “UD’s marketing efforts are having positive impacts in other areas that are helping to grow the category,” confirmed Daryl McKay, President of Sports Images, Inc. “Programs at MLB team stores show baseball card sales have increased significantly each month of the 2007 campaign and have surpassed the sales totals for 2006.” Things have been so good, that the MLB team stores are showing triple digit trading card sales growth for the past two MLB seasons. This is having a positive influence on the hobby as these programs drive new collectors to local shops to purchase cards and to build awareness for the category.
Not to be outdone, the hobby stores, traditionally the lifeblood of the industry, are once again thriving with all of the recent initiatives as well as the implementation of time tested programs. Upper Deck is perfectly situated with its exclusive relationships with the best athletes and partners in the game to keep the positive gains moving.
“Upper Deck has really put their heart and soul into these programs to better the hobby. We have utilized Upper Deck’s hobby co-op program for years, as it helps fund hobby nights, autograph signings and product release parties that enable store owners to drive additional foot traffic into their businesses,” remarked Sports Images McKay.
Upper Deck has learned if you can bring the youth back to the hobby you can bring the rest of the family back as well.
About the Upper Deck Company
Founded in 1988, The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts. For more information on Upper Deck and its products, please visit www.upperdeck.com or www.upperdeckstore.com.