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Are Kids Returning to the Hobby?

The sports leagues and card companies put on a full-court marketing press this year. One survey says…it’s paying off. More kids are sports card collectors now than were a year ago.

The battle cry for the trading card category in 2006 was "Bring back the
Kids" and two industry leaders say it appears to be working.

Topps and Upper Deck spent unprecedented marketing resources to attract kids to card collecting and youngsters have responded positively. According to
the KidSay tracker, a reputable marketing research company that tracks
kid’s attitudes and behavior, 28% of boys 8-11 collected sports cards in
2006 vs. 9% in 2005. Consistent with these results, 23% of boys 12-15,
collected sports cards in ’06 versus just 8% in 2005.

"We are extremely excited with the progress we have made this year
attracting kids to sports cards" said Mark Sapir, Director of Kids
Marketing for Topps. "We believe through strong partnerships, effective
advertising, solid promotions and a strong in-stadium presence we have
created a much more relevant offering to kids. We have created a core
community of card collectors, and we expect this community to expand in
2007."

In 2006, Topps partnered with SI for Kids to create an in-magazine destination and website that generated strong kids traffic. In addition, Topps integrated hot video gaming properties 2K and EA into their product and delivered more than 10 million cards inside 2K6 Baseball and 2006 EA Madden Football. "We believe our gaming partnerships have quickly elevated the relevancy and stature of our brand among younger users and sampling our card product in their game and integrating our brand inside their games has helped us convert young gamers to sports trading cards", added Sapir.

In 2006, Upper Deck ran more than ten weeks of baseball card television
advertising on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon to support its Kids
Rewards program hosted at www.upperdeckkids.com, and ‘Get More than
Lucky!’ campaigns. Upper Deck built a vibrant online community where
kids could actively trade codes and swap collecting tips on the message
boards. Additionally, Upper Deck and Fleer cards were widely available
at most Major League Baseball venues.

"We knew 2006 would be a pivotal year for our kids sports card marketing
initiatives. We needed to build programs that would engage youngsters
and keep them actively purchasing and collecting," commented Kerri
Stockholm, Senior Sports Marketing Manager for Upper Deck. "Based on
the KidSay marketing research, we have hit our goals – but the work is
not finished. Upper Deck is dedicated to keeping the momentum going and
continuing to bring new collectors into the category."

Thus far, the Upper Deck Kids Rewards program has inspired more than
120,000 collectors to register an online account, and over 12 million
cards have been logged. Every card registered is worth points that can
be redeemed for a variety of kid-friendly prizes like iTunes downloads,
screensavers, videogames, movie tickets and Upper Deck trading cards.


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