Even the WNBA is taking its trading cards upscale. But is it a smart move?
The WNBA has renewed its partnership with Rittenhouse Archives as the exclusive provider of WNBA trading cards. Rittenhouse will debut its new set of WNBA basketball cards at the tip-off of the 2009 season on June 6. This year, though, there will be now lower priced packs and boxes. It seems the league has gone the high end route.
“Our fans consistently tell us how connected they feel to our remarkable athletes, and the WNBA trading cards just deepen that connection,” said WNBA President Donna Orender.
This year, the WNBA will create just 375 mini boxed sets at $99 each. The first series sets, containing only 17 cards, one for each of the league’s 13 teams, with three players per card–much like the 1980-81 Topps NBA sets. There will be a Candace Parker/Lisa Leslie header card with the set’s serial number on it. Autograph cards from the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, the Minnesota Lynx’s Nicky Anosike and the Washington Mystics’ Matee Ajavon will finish off the set..
Two more WNBA mini box sets will be released, one in August and one in October. Series Two will feature 2009 WNBA Rookies and Series Three will feature the 2009 WNBA Stars. All cards will show game action shots that can be perforated into three sections to create mini cards.
"WNBA trading cards have become a staple of our product lines each year," said Rittenhouse President Steve Charendoff. “The fans who collect WNBA trading cards, like most fans of the WNBA, are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about their sport and their heroes. With the WNBA now firmly entrenched in the collective conscience of girls and women across the country, they want to connect with their heroes on many levels and trading cards offer one very meaningful way to make that connection.”
The Bristol, CT Press has more on the decision by the league and its partner to create some value for buyers.