A World Series-Worthy Contest

Many poeple might not realize that Panini America's corporate office is located less than a mile from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, site of Game 3, Game 4 and potentially Game 5 of the 2010 World Series that begins tonight in San Francisco when the Texas Rangers battle the Giants.

Many people might not realize that Panini America‘s corporate office is located less than a mile from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, site of Game 3, Game 4 and potentially Game 5 of the 2010 World Series that begins tonight in San Francisco when the Texas Rangers battle the Giants.

The proximity of the home team means we have an office full of antlers, claws and rampant Rangers fever these days. And that got us to thinking: “We should have a contest in honor of the World Series starting tonight that puts fantastic prizes in collectors hands in exchange for great ideas.”

So that’s exactly what we’ve decided to do.

The Knight’s Lance — the official blog of Panini America — is less than a week old, which means it’s way a work in progress that will reach its maximum potential only with feedback from those passionate folks who spend the most time perusing it.

That would be you.

So we want to know: What would you like to see from this blog in the days, weeks, months and years ahead? That’s right, we want your ideas . . . for departments, recurring features, galleries, videos, etc. Between right now and the end of World Series (Go Rangers!) simply share your ideas with us by commenting on this blog post. When the series ends, we’ll reward three commenters — drawn completely at random — with one of three sweet prizes.

Oh, yeah, the prizes. We’ve raided our vault to come up with three really fitting, really cool gems in hopes of soliciting nothing less than top-notch ideas. Those prizes are:

We thought that might get your attention. So, you got any good content ideas?



69 Replies to “A World Series-Worthy Contest”

  1. I like the box breaks and everything, but i think a good idea would be to allow customers to have a contest where they (if purchased a box, doesnt have to) send in a review of what they liked, enjoyed about the product and a solid critiquing of the product overall along with some scans throughout the article. I love all of panini’s efforts and reviews, but it would be nice to hear thoughts and experiences from a product from passionate collectors.

  2. I would like to see a section in the blog for where we can post hits from boxes we break of panini products. Thanks for the contest

  3. More contests like this one 🙂

    I would like to see box break videos and posts of amazing pulls from Panini products. I like previews of new products especially with pictures kind of like the drool gallery posted the other day. I would also like to see links to set checklists when they are released.

    I think it would be cool to sometimes post some insider things like how you might cut up a jersey and disperse it into so many cards or talk about what it was like working with a certain person when he had to sign 200 cards, etc.

    Thanks for the contest.

  4. Some ideas, completely free of charge:

    – During the design phase for new products, how about posting several potential card designs on the blog for us to vote on? Or post a preview of card designs far enough in advance that we could offer improvements that still have time to be incorporated in the finished product if you agree with them. It’s obvious the Panini graphic designers could use some help.

    – Post behind the scenes videos of cards being made, from designing the layout on a computer, to printing, to cutting up and inserting relics and adding autos (even if they are the despised stickers). Maybe let us follow one product during its entire lifecycle.

    Hope these help. And whatever you do, don’t allow self-important card bloggers to write your content for the blog. The last company to do that is on life-support right now…

  5. Easy to use comprehensive set checklists are something I think most collectors expect from a card company’s website, including checklists and pics of upcoming releases. Also, contests like this will bring me in every time!!

  6. I would love to see tentative checklists here for easy reference and to know which products have the cards I want. I like box break videos but scans are always nice too. If I just want to see a few cards, I’m not always wanting to watch a video. Release dates on the side would be nice as well.

  7. Great contest. I would love to see more behind the scenes pics/videos of Panini happenings like player signings, card production, pr and marketing events. As collectors, we usually only get to see the product and not all the work that goes into the final product.

  8. A feature spotlighting hobby stores. How do stores compete with internet sellers and mass-market retail? What does a store offer a customer (service, selection, variety, face-to-face interaction with other customers, trading, supplies, Becketts, etc.)? Maybe feature one store a month and interview the owner. And something about local card shows would be nice.

  9. I allready love everything you do. However, I would love to have the oppertunity, to vote on pottential card designs, and insert names. It would also be cool, if you allowed a way for us to send you card design ideas. I understand this would provide for alot of extra work for your company, because I know you would get thousand of ideas every day. But…. It would also increase interest in your products, and and who wouldnt want to pull a card they designed !!!! Thanks for this Awesome Contest !!! Go Rangers !!!!

  10. A couple of ideas:

    – Feature some Donruss Elite chase cards of the past. So-called junk wax even has its high points. Elite inserts may have numbered up to 10k, but amongst millions of base cards, those are some of the toughest pulls ever. I got a Jeter one once, and it felt like I struck gold when I did. They are vastly underappreciated and surprisingly tough to find.

    – Regularly spotlight error cards of Donruss early days. See what’s humorous about them, see if there’s a story as to how the error came about. The ’81 Bobby Bonds with 986 career homers is especially funny and interesting.

  11. Besides the usual, sneak peeks, box breaks, checklists, etc., how about the following;

    “You Pick the Design” show us two or three potential designs for a particular insert card (not the entire set) and we get to vote on it then one random winner gets the original proof, a 1/1.

    “Follow the relic” Show us the entire process from Stadium to Card. If its a jersey, start with the equipment manager receiving the shipment and putting it in the players locker, to wearing it in a game to delivery to Panini to cutting it up to placing it on the card to packaging it to shipping to a store to purchase to ripping it. If you want to make a contest of it, have someone follow the relic.

    Much like the SPEED-break™ on my blog, show us a hard signing from start to finish.

    “Meet Panini” profile members of the Panini team. (Have you ever done a trading card set of your employees?)

    “Lost in the Vault” So us finds that we’ve never seen or might have forgotten about.

    “Blog of the Month” Introduce us to places on the web that we should be checking out that cover Panini products. Perhaps provide those blogs with product to conduct giveaways the month you profile them. (Nudge nudge, wink wink.)

    You’re off to a great start, keep up the good work.

  12. I think people should post product reviews, case/box/pack breaks, ideas for future products, and information about sports teams in general.

  13. One thing that I would like to see is guest box breaks. I love that companies send out boxes of products to be reviewed because I feel like it is an important part of the hobby. That way if one really good box ends up getting opened by Beckett, people can see other breaks and know what to realistically expect. The only problem is, if you don’t happen to follow one of the blogs that gets the sponsored product, you wouldn’t know anything about the breaks. I would like to see a platform given on the Panini website to those opening the products. Maybe even a rotating spot for people who don’t always get the product from you regularly to break one box and have their review be featured on the website. Also, I’d like to see something similar for video box breaks. That way for each product we can go on the website and see the official break and one break by a blogger.

    I’ve also got to second more behind the scenes stuff. For those of us who don’t pull apart our jersey cards to create fakes, we have no idea what a jersey card looks like before it is put together. I’d love to see video about how those cards are constructed. Is anything special done to swatches when they are cut up to prevent unraveling or anything like that?

    Finally, I’d like to see a lot more interaction with the online community. I don’t mean giveaways, but actual features about collectors and local events. I was lucky enough to attend a Panini event at the Basketball Hall of Fame and I had a blast. I’d love something in the area on a yearly basis to meet people from Panini and other collectors. It wouldn’t even have to be a huge event. It would just have to exist.

  14. I’d like to see how new products come about. Can anyone come in with a sales pitch showing set designs and ideas or are all your sets developed from a team of people at Panini whose sole job is to produce new innovative products? Can we see how the process happens(presentation, who makes the final decisions, who determines checklist size/names/numbers, how do #’d sets get their print runs, etc…). The other thing I’m interested to see is the actual production of the cards and not just the base cards but how are jersey cards made, how do the cards get sorted and packaged for delivery. Also you may consider filming some private signings if you have athletes in to sign a bunch of stuff or if you meet up with them somewhere. That’s just my 2 cents.

  15. There are obviously many mixed opinions on Panini products in its first year in America to the point where there are some who absolutely hate Panini products. How about integrating some consumer polls during the production process to allow for slight changes or decisions to be made by the collectors before the cards actually get made. Movies often employ screenings as a tactic to make tweaks to a movie before distribution. I don’t see why the same can’t be done here.

  16. I’d like to see how cards are made from the time they’re cut then put into packs. Also would like to see how jerseys are attained then put into cards.

  17. I’d like to see a blog about player selection for base or insert sets. It’d be interesting to take a look at how the checklists are created, especially for smaller sets where, after the automatics (eg. Crosby and OV in hockey, Peyton and A.D. in football) are chosen.

  18. Trading forums, collector submitted reviews, frequent contests, collector of the month, partnerships with relevant web sites (baseballdigest.com) interviews/live chats with industry insiders (baseballdigest.com)

  19. The Card Investor has paraphrased my idea almost perfectly which means it’s got to be a good idea when two people come to the same suggestion for a company. I am a HUGE basketball fan, I enjoyed UD for their photos and MJ/LJ hunt, Topps for Wade, Shaq and unique fun stuff like Trademark Moves and of course, excellent parallel designs – Chrome, TM, etc. Since Panini took over as the exclusive license of the NBA I have only been thrilled with one product – Crown Royale, and even that set has some design issues which left me asking WTH?

    Now, Topps has never really had many routes for feedback until this year’s Nationals with the panel (which was awesome!). Also, as far as I know, UD still doesn’t look for design feedback so Panini has a real opportunity to get collectors on their side by including them in the design and production process.

    Here’s how I see it working:

    Months before production mocked up design sets are shown, I’d like to see it without real players because I can see Kobe fans automatically green-lighting mock ups that show Kobe but when they see a KG card they’d just shut it down due to the player, not the design. Anyhow, a handful of design templates are shown with voting and text feedback (check out Mountain Dew’s “Dew Lab,” of which I’m a member for a great example of how this runs) so that the concepts and designs can be honed. The top 2 or so are then shown again with more of the subsets/parallels and card backs. A final vote is given to pick the design.

    Now, if you really wanted to get awesome, you could go a step further and guage the value of the product as well by putting up the estimated cost per pack/box/case with varying levels of content so it can be voted on. This way if a design great design feedback it can get better hits (on-card vs sticker autos, patch vs just jersey swatch, inscriptions vs just on-card, etc etc) to make it more attractive to different types of collectors.

    Of course, this could be disastrous when 4chan comes in and only votes for the worst designs and highest priced content, but again, if it’s run like Dewlabs you’d pre-screen the voters. The compromise could be that anyone could view the results, but only members can vote.

    Anyhow, then after a product comes out perhaps have post-break feedback where you collect production issues (missed hits, roller-marked cards, off-center, smudged autos, dusty, you know, the stuff we all complain about) and our overall feelings on the sets. This can also be tied into what actually gets released next year. That way you’d know when you have a REAL dud before you blow efforts on it in multiple years (Topps Reserve or UD Honor Roll anyone?)

    Or maybe I’m recommending more of a Panani customer testbed in addition to the blog/forum. In any case, the simple fact that Panini (and Tracy, I assume) are working on this means I need to give Panini another chance but if I see a whole year of subpar base set photos and only foilboard medium/high end stuff I’m going to take up collecting beanie babies and pogs.

  20. I would like to see more photos/videos of athletes signing autographs, as well as how the production/pack out process works. Just a general behind the scenes look at how much hard work goes into producing our favorite cards!

  21. There should a poll/voting section where the collectors can use their voice to choose future designs and potential themes for sets. Plus a section for box breaks to share amonst everyone.

  22. I like the behind the scenes of how the cards are made idea. The machines used, how long it takes a card to be made from start to finish, packaging; just the whole process.

  23. Every card collector has wanted to see how cards are made. I would watch anything on how they are made. How inserts are put in, what goes into obtaining an autograph. Also I think unique contests would be fun to see. A contest where a collector gets to design a game used insert set, give random cards, boxes and cases away. Special guest blogs would be cool too. get a guy like Pat Neshek on to blog, he is by far one of the best collectors in the bigs. Just make it fun!

  24. Like a few other others have already mentioned, I would like to see some type of behind the scenes look at how products are created (beginning to end). I really enjoy the product previews that have been provided so far, but think it would be very interesting to see what goes into creating those finished products.

    Also, I think it would be really neat if there was an article that documents the travels of a game specific jersey, from the athlete to the finished card(s).

  25. I personally would like to see something about the customer service dept. Maybe a “day in the life of” type of blog post. This way us collectors can see what a person who has to field all the phone calls (good/bad) from the customers directly go thru on a daily basis. (On a side note your CS is excellent)

    I would also like the see a card go through the redemption process. Example, card is made goes out to the player, player signs, card goes where…??? once received back how do they all get shipped to the correct people, something along those lines.

    In a nutshell more behind the scenes look on what really goes on.


  26. Guys this looks great! I’d like to see a few weekly inserts… regular stuff like this week’s collecting tips, nice behind the scenes interviews and a section about product reviews. It will give everybody a chance to check out and compare products.

  27. not sure if this is only for baseball but ill assume its for all sports anyways
    A few ideas:
    -video of how the jersey/bat are cut and placed onto a card
    -more video or pictures of the signer autographing
    -how manufacture patches are made
    – I like how you have redemption for balls or photos, i would like to see an autograph of all players you have under contract of that sport. For example you have rights to Kobe and others so like have a team of Panini superstars and have them sign that photo as a prize or hit
    -For your blog i would like a pricing and what not so it can be easy to obtain information
    – If possible have some video of players busting some boxes and maybe showing off their collection
    hope that helps

  28. I would like to see where Panini offers artists who have a fever for sports a chance through a contest to have one of their works produced as a card and for the collector a chance at obtaining that original piece of artwork…….with auto’s of the player depicted and the artist themselves ……….just an idea

  29. I would like to see the blog site be used as an Inventory site for low numbered cards. If you have a card numbered to, say, 50 or less, post a scan of the card, keeping them in numerical order, complete with contact info of the owner, showing off the cards to all who visit. Maybe it doesn’t have to be every single card in a set, but the stars, and possibly add more later, if they become worthy. Just an idea….

  30. I would say comprehensive checklists and in-depth previews of the upcoming cards. I love reading the previews on other sites and if it comes straight from the source maybe we can learn something even more unique!

  31. What I would like to see is Panini taking what Topps has started, with their “reaching out” through social media outlets, to the next level. Transparently (as much as possibly, while protecting yourselves of course) address the concerns of collectors/customers.

    Take what Topps did at the NSCC and make them a standard occurance on your website. Hold regular chats/discussions/informational sessions on what makes the industry tick and how those operations affect collectors.

    Essentially, provide collectors with answers to the questions that companies seem to think collectors don’t need to know. In the end a collector who is more informed as to WHY things are the way they are is more inclined to spend their money.

  32. – I like the product previews, along with a follow up, showing a certain card pulled by a collector. Show the process of how a redemption gets fulfilled.


  33. I’d love to see how your cards are made, step by step. From the artists conception, to autograph sessions, to getting, and cutting game used materials.. Everything. Thanks

  34. In this digital age it’s easy to check in with a manufacturer daily, these types of contest are perfect for pulling people to the site to inform and well as reward. More contests like this are my suggestion…. I love bounties too!

  35. As a few have mentioned I would like to see the behind the scenes autograph signings, a more in-depth look at the new products about to release, what all goes into the making of a card and how designs of the cards are decided.

  36. I’d like for a department/section for the little ones. My daughter LOVES your sticker albums and LOVES getting on the computer. It would be great to share one site with options for both kids and adults.

    Also, for the sports side – maybe post video sections from players during signings, more box breaks with them…etc….but keep Hackler in the video too. 🙂

  37. Picture cataloging high end cards to authenticate patches and Auto’s. Couldn’t be to hard and would put to rest a lot of bad things going on with the hobby.

  38. I would love to see how cards are made! from picking photos all the way to shipping them out. this means auto and game used cards as well. I know this is alot, but I think it would be cool to see!!

  39. I would love for you guys to have a feature where you present us a mock up of a card and solicit our ideas on the design. Come up with a catchy name for it (sorry I’m not that clever.) Or have an area where folks can submit their own designs for cards, there are quite a few creative people out there that come up with some sweet designs every now and then. Give away cool prizes for the best design, or feature the best designer on their own card. I would also send a box to an average Joe collector (like myself, hint, hint) to film the break and offer up real critiques of the product that you could post on your blog as well.

  40. I wouldl ike to see:
    1 – Photo Gallery
    – Of the Variations – never sure if you pulled it because you do not know if it is the base or the sp version.
    – Of patch cards – if you make 99 Peterson patch cards in a specific product, how about a gallery of all 99 cards before they are packed out. This would help ensure secondary market cards are “real” and the patched have not been faked. This is a great concern of many collectors. Some will stay away from specific products because they are so easy to fake.

    2 – instead of the box break, how about you show the product as it is being created and packed. You can show a ton of different cards and collectors can not complain that “a rare card was taken out of circulation”.

  41. I agree with a lot of the above. Great job so far, and love the fact that you’re expanding to other sports as well. And weekly contests or even monthly ones where collectors either do a box break review or for supercollectors.

  42. I would like to see a weekly or monthly interview with a celebrity, musician (like Tracy did in the video) or even a sports figure that also enjoys the hobby of card collecting. I think it would be very interesting to see the thoughts and views of someone that most recognize, but may not realize that they to enjoy the hobby. It would also be cool to find out who their favorite athletes are and what their favorite or most expensive item is within their personal collection.

  43. It would be great to have a contest in which the winner will be included in a card in an upcoming product. No one wants to pull a card of me but with a little photo manipulation I could be prominently seen in the background of the next Kobe base card.

    Including collector’s in fun ways like that will bring them closer to Panini and instill loyalty in the people that buy your product.

  44. Just maybe some more box breaks or as releases come closer to coming out show us some pictures. Your doing a great job so those are the only small things I can think off.

  45. I would love to see more behind the scenes pictures and info. Show us how are the cards packed to insure # of hits per box/pack.

  46. I’d like to see some grass-stained jerseys but wash them in some low-budget detergent first. It kinda sounds like an insert set in itself: Grass-Stained Jerseys!

    I want to see an insert set that includes the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from ’43-’54, or how about other countries ball teams?


  47. I would love to see more guests on doing box breaks and more video of the NBA players signing their cards. Getting their reactions to the sports card world with interviews and unscripted stuff would be great. Keep up the good work!

  48. Here’s a contest idea for you, using only Panini or DLP cards, Create the Starting Line-up for one of the World Series teams. Maybe the entire team roster (Bonus for Coaches/Managers cards)

  49. I would really like to see more about what actually goes into making the cards. A couple of the articles have already focused on this (Quality Checking Score and the art approval process) but it would be great to have a on going feature that follows the entire process for a single release from the beginning product concept thru to distribution so that we could see everything that goes into creating a set.

  50. I think an occasional “turn back the clock” feature that takes a look at past Panini sticker products or past Donruss and Score products would be interesting.

  51. I would like to see maybe a blog contest on designing our own cards and maybe make the designs an insert in a product

  52. I like to see athletes, and “celebrities” that also collect cards, get involved in either talking about cards, or breaking some wax, I would like to see more of that.

  53. I love the idea of catalogging the higher end hits so collectors can verify the legitimacy of the higher end hits that are now being faked at an alarming rate.

    Vault Treasures would be a great insert set. There’s got to be all sorts of stuff hidden and/or forgotten about.

    Please keep up the great customer service, and I very much look forward to all the panini announcements. I’d still love to see more background info on how a card is made, packed out, etc, but know there are trade secrets throughout this. Look forward to seeing you guys again in 2 weeks in Toronto!

  54. It can be tough trying to figure out what to put in a company blog that won’t get the marketing folks crawling up your rear end for giving too much away about upcoming releases and whatnot. I have a couple of ideas…

    1. A behind the scenes look at the card creation process for some of your cooler inserts like the logoman, etc. These could be released AFTER the cards go live so as not to tip your hand, but would generate a ton of excitement for collectors to see what they actually have a chance at pulling out of a box.

    2. A quality control feature. I know you guys bust boxes to check for quality control. Either a video of that or pictures of some of the cool stuff you pull would be great.

    3. I like the idea of being able to vote on or suggest card ideas. In the end, we are the folks shelling out the greenbacks for the product…and while some of them might not be reasonable (like my Brandon Roy/Bill Walton/Clyde Drexler triple jersey auto card) you never know what kind of great stuff we could come up with!

    4. How about a “ask the designer” feature where collectors could ask the product guys about what they were thinking/how they came up with certain designs for cards/sets?

    Just my two cents!

  55. I don’t think I can add anything that’s not already been said, but my thoughts:
    -on product release, post a complete checklist for every set (including inserts, autographs, etc). The better I know about a product the more likely I’ll try to find it. This includes a sample image from every set/subset/insert. Obviously, an insert with material/autograph parallels would look basically the same so additional images wouldn’t be needed. I decide what I collect based on design, so images of upcoming sets is very important. But also important are odds/rarity.
    -updates on where the company is as far as upcoming product releases and such. Basically, post the information you provide in sell sheets, etc (at least).
    -behind the scenes is fun. Perhaps you could break it up into a series of sorts, instead of an all-in-one post – here’s step one of the card making process, etc. You can even include parts on obtaining material (like, how exactly do you get a piece of memorabilia/autographs/licensing for someone in the Americana sets – that seems a bit different than jerseys/sports) and autograph signings.
    -Anything fun going on around the office is worth posting, such as visitors (signing autographs, maybe?), box busting, so on.
    -What kinds of things do you have lying around the vault? Revisiting some of the greats from Donruss/Leaf as well as Panini would provide interest.
    -Updates on production, autograph signers, acquisitions of memorabilia, so on.
    -Everybody loves a contest!


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