“At a time when it would be easy to be negative, card stores have stepped up with optimism and a willingness to share ideas that need to be listened to, but more importantly, need to be implemented. Now the ball is in our court.’’
John Buscaglia, Topps VP/sales
“These are things we’ve wanted to do for 10 years. We are no longer turning a blind eye to the problem that has been killing margins for hobby stores.’’
Mike Anderson, Panini VP, announcing the company’s revamped distribution plans.
“We lost a lot when Dr. (James) Beckett sold the company – but we still have a lot of customers, and a lot of eyes visiting our site. Our new ownership is willing to invest in this business. I want you to know that we need to do better, and we will do better.’’
Bill Sutherland of Beckett Media, responding to an assessment of Beckett.com as a “broken toy’’ during his “10 key questions’’ segment.
“If someone misses their release date, the licensor should say, ‘You hold it until there’s a hole in the schedule.’ The licensor absolutely should step in and resolve the cash-flow problem for the retailer.”
Brian Gray, Razor Entertainment Group CEO.
“Although it might put some short-term hurt on your business, I suggest everyone should rethink supporting an admitted counterfeiter. People who are feeling OK about supporting that are sending the wrong message about how much they care about the industry.’’
Victor Shaffer, EVP at Cartamundi USA and former CEO of Press Pass
“What is the advantage we have over Target or Wal-Mart? It’s you, the hobby retailer. Until we take full advantage of that, we can’t compete with their marketing savvy. What they don’t have is Cecil (LaBorde, a Louisiana-based retailer) going ‘Who Dat?’ to everyone coming through the door. Cecil vs. the Wal-Mart greeter: That’s our advantage.’’
Daryl McKay, Sports Images distributorship
“When I wake up in the morning, I have to pinch myself and say, ‘I sell baseball cards for a living.’ It’s an awesome thing, and I don’t want to stop doing it. I don’t want to have to wake up and realize I’m digging ditches – there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’d rather sell baseball cards.’’
Lloyd Kee, GTS distributorship
“If we know with confidence that the industry would wait to pursue the Topps licensed rookie card, and not that from an unlicensed manufacturer, we’d go that way. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced the industry would wait for a licensed card. If you look at Jason Heyward’s most pursued card, it isn’t a Topps card right now. So right now, (waiting until a player makes the majors to approve a Rookie Card) is a risk that we are not ready to take.’’
Evan Kaplan, MLBPA
“Five years ago, we (NHL and NHLPA) made what people said was a crazy, terrible decision (licensing Upper Deck exclusively.) Looking back, time has proven it was the right decision. But going forward, we’re in a different place. Hockey has grown over the last five years, and it will be interesting to see how the industry views our decision (to license both Upper Deck and Panini) in another five years.’’
Adam Larry, NHLPA
“Just remember: Your regular customers, the first time they came into your store, weren’t your regular customers. “
DJ Kazmierczak, Press Pass executive,on the importance of welcoming entry-level collectors to the industry.
“The fact that stores aren’t picketing, asking why NBA and NFL aren’t here (at the Industry Summit), amazes me. I’m amazed at their (licensing) decisions, and I’m amazed they didn’t come here to explain it.’’
Brian Gray, Razor Entertainment Group CEO.
“We can’t control what the manufacturers will do, but we can control what’s inside our four walls. We have a lot of opportunity in this business – we have to take it and run with it.’’
Wayne Wagner, Edmonton-based retailer
“The last bullets we have are our wallets. If I spend money with people who are going after my end users, I’m simply empowering them. I am willing to pay more to buy from people who I believe are “clean’’ within the hobby. You can’t complain about Internet Individual A if you buy from Internet Individual A.’’
Mike Fruitman, Colorado-based retailer
“”I truly believe we’re seeing a bit of a renaissance of collecting – a lot of lapsed collectors are coming back, remembering why they loved the hobby.’’
Mark Sapir, Topps VP/sports
“I was very happy to see so many retailers coming together in a way that inspired increased cooperation. Alone one retailer cannot do much, but together, they have a very strong voice that manufacturers, leagues and distributors have to listen to. It was great to see.’’
Chris Carlin, Sports Marketing Manager, The Upper Deck Company