The $1.9 Million Impact of Panini America's 2012 Black Friday Promotion (with Video)

Now that the dust has started to settle from the coast-to-coast madness created by Panini America's 2012 Black Friday promotion, it's time to exhale, take a step back and attempt to assess the true impact of a program that, in two short years, has made local hobby shops across the country bona fide Black Friday shopping destinations for the first time in our industry's history.

Now that the dust has started to settle from the coast-to-coast madness created by Panini America’s 2012 Black Friday promotion, it’s time to exhale, take a step back and attempt to assess the true impact of a program that, in two short years, has made local hobby shops across the country bona fide Black Friday shopping destinations for the first time in our industry’s history.
To be sure, Panini America’s Black Friday blossomed in a big way in its second year, earning higher visibility from all angles, greater participation from both hobby shop owners and collectors, and benefiting greatly from seemingly nonstop social media activation from beginning to end.

In addition to generating record revenue days for many hobby shops, the 2012 Black Friday promotion also led to new weekly and monthly view records for The Knight’s Lance, the official blog of Panini America, a spike in traffic due in large part to widespread interest in the blog’s many Black Friday posts in the days prior to the promotion kicking off.
But significantly more important than increases in overall community buzz or web traffic is the bottom-line financial impact Panini America’s sophomore edition of Black Friday had in America’s hobby shops — the most important measurable of all.

According to research conducted by The Industry Summit, Panini America’s Black Friday promotion was directly attributable to $1.9 million in incremental hobby sales, a 26 percent increase over 2011’s debut promotion. A key sales driver: Retailers’ aggressive planning and utilization of social media to promote Black Friday activities.

“The Black Friday packs definitely bring people in,’’ Eddie Barkley of Eddie’s Sports Treasures in Knoxville, Tenn., told Industry Summit organizers. “It has been a great promotion, and I appreciated it dearly.’’
Barkley’s not alone. Other hobby shop owners from around the country echoed his sentiments. Here’s a quick sampling:

  • “Panini America’s 2012 Black Friday was even better than last year, and last year was terrific. I saw an immediate increase in business once I got the word out to my customers that Black Friday Packs were coming back. The impact of 2012 Panini America Black Friday packs at Sports Cards Plus is not just a one-day sales increase, but a 100 percent increase over the month of  October. November sales have already doubled sales for October 2012.” — Charlie DiPietro, Sports Cards Plus, San Antonio, Texas
  • “For the first time ever, we decided to open up on Thanksgiving night in order to get Panini America Black Friday packs into the hands of our collectors as early as possible. Based on last year’s success, collectors were as excited to have Black Friday get here as they usually are for the start to the NFL season. In less than three hours we moved four times the amount of product we sell on an above-average day. It was Black Friday mania at Mike’s. Black Friday itself was another loco one in the shop with hundreds of Black Friday packs going out the door. We topped things off with our Monthly Trade Night on Saturday and between those three days, I must have burned a few hundred calories just making trips to the garbage can with loads of empty Panini America packs, boxes and cases.” — Mike Fruitman, Mike’s Stadium Sportscards, Aurora, Colo.
  • “The Panini America Black Friday Promotion once again proved to be the added ingredient that my store needed to make the kickoff to the holiday shopping season a success. While Black Friday was always a day for shopping at large department stores and malls, thanks to Panini America, my store has become a necessary stop for many shoppers. My customers were especially excited that Panini America beefed up these special packs this year by adding blank-backed printing proof cards and additional unusual memorabilia cards. My store’s sales have never before been this good on Black Friday weekend!” — Steve Mandy, Attack of the Baseball Cards, Union, N.J.
  • Almost 50 percent of my clientele’s homes were severely damaged or condemned after Superstorm Sandy hit. Many have relocated for months to come and some will not be able to rebuild. As you can figure, many of their collections were lost in this devastation. My battle is to embrace my customers and try to work through this and do what I need to do all in my power to get customers coming through my door again. The first start was Panini America’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, which went as well as they could have. The Panini America Black Friday promotion made many faces smile again and I want to thank you for that.” — Steve Cardi, The Card Shack, Lynnbrook, N.Y.

In two short years, Panini America’s Black Friday has transformed from a hobby shop promotion into an industry-wide phenomenon. As a result, company officials already are planning improvements for Black Friday 2013 in an effort to make it the best year yet.
“We’re ecstatic by the level of hobby-shop participation in the 2012 Panini America Black Friday promotion,” said D.J. Kazmierczak, Panini America’s Vice President of Sales. “Last year, in our first year with the Panini Black Friday promotion, we had some key learnings and feedback from hobby shops that we looked to incorporate into this year’s promotion. The overwhelming response we heard was to allow greater flexibility within the promotion. We were excited to see hobby shops utilize that flexibility and get creative in terms of how they leveraged the promotion and marketed the promotion to their customers to fully maximize Panini America Black Friday.
“It’s clear from the preliminary feedback we’ve received from shops that the Panini America Black Friday promotion helped deliver their single biggest day of the year and an enthusiastic level of energy to their stores.  We’re thrilled with the level of participation from both hobby shops and collectors and look forward to continuing to grow that. There is no doubt that there will be another level of evolution to the Panini America Black Friday promotion in the future.”
We hope you find, like we did, that the following gallery and video — including contributions from Sports Cards Plus, Mike’s Stadium Sportscards, Attack of the Cards, Jeff DeGraw’s Matt’s Sports Cards, YouTubers Josh Iaquinto of BBEXPRESS2 and the Pinoy Mamba, and distributor Magazine Exchange — provide a fitting tribute to the fun, excitement, passion and massive appeal of a Panini America promotion that will grow only stronger and more robust in the years to come.
First, the images . . .

And now, a special Black Friday episode of Panini Unwrapped: Road Edition . . .


36 Replies to “The $1.9 Million Impact of Panini America's 2012 Black Friday Promotion (with Video)”

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. I truly wish that more LCS owners are honest and trustworthy. My LCS had apprx. 75 packs and he only had the thin packs out for collectors holding the thicker ones in the back on his work table. I really hope panini looks out for the collectors and adds a decoy in every pack to prevent owners from scamming the system.

    1. I agree here. One of my LCS that had the packs I had no such problems, got some jersey cards and such, but I could see that happening here and there.
      Maybe a decoy advertising the upcoming Father’s day promotion????

    2. To JOE T. That is really terrible we get joy from seeing our customers get the great pulls It is the only way to get them to come back. A happy customer is a loyal customer. What is a store owner going to do sell them on ebay or whatever for a few extra bucks, Sooner or later it catches up to you… We finally had a year without someone attempting to buy them out right…. We had a great promotion ran thin by Saturday afternoon so we just supplement with actually Panini Packs. Here’s to ripping!!!!!!!

  3. Congrats to Panini and the LCS who participated. Thats an amazing accomplishment. Panini is number one in promos

  4. Great to see. These special promotions are a win – win for everyone. Its important that hobby shops remain a hot attraction to obtain cards, and this is one way to make that possible. Even if you aren’t near a store (like myself) just seeing other people have fun with this is great. Black Boxes in Vegas, Fathers Day, NSCC and Black Friday – Panini is making a hobby shop owners job easier.

  5. Wow!
    An Absolutely positive input to the industry!
    Thumbs up Panini!
    Thanks Tracy! My son( Joshua) and I were marveled that our YouTube video was one among them. Still can’t stop smiling thinking about it! We are right now in a state of amazement watching over and over again.
    Another of those proud moment that we are humbled and yet thrilled to share to the world!
    Love it! Thank you again Tracy!

  6. Awesome video. Well done-well done!!! This should get people even more excited for your promotions in the future.
    Great to see just the fun and joy that this hobby can bring.
    Thanks Panini!!

  7. Just dont understand how some people end up with so many packs
    the last few years i have just bought boxes from panini and have gotten all flat packs with base and nothing special
    Ill keep trying..

  8. Love to see all the excitement that This Great Black Friday have Created!
    Well done Tracy and Panini!
    Love to see the Joy and smiles of all the collectors!

  9. Thanks Panini America. My customers love the Black Friday Packs. Customers have come back several times for more Black Friday Packs. One customer came in four days in a row.
    We will continue to give customers FREE Black Friday Packs with their purchase of ANY Panini Box purchased until our Black Friday Packs run out.

  10. Thanks again Panini for another WONDEFUL Black Friday promotion. The breaks were filled quickly which goes to show the anticipation people have for this promotion. I think I can speak for most of the room on Friday nights that we all appreciate the great promotions Panini always puts together. Salute to Tracy, Scott, and the rest at Panini!! Take care – BB

  11. This promotion lead to me pulling my first ever 1/1! I pulled a sketch card redemption of Thomas Robinson out of the 2nd of my only 2 packs I had gotten. Just mailed away for it today!

  12. I went to my local card shop when they opened and was told that they didn’t have any Black Friday packs because they called all of their best customers and set them aside for them…..was very angry at this, I drove 45 minutes (closest hobby shop to me, next closest is an hour and 20 minutes) Just to be told they didn’t have any because they called their friends and gave them all to them!!!!!!

  13. It must be nice to actually have black friday packs to open on black friday. The LCS here holds them until Monday. I went in on Friday like an idiot, thinking that I could get some of the Black Friday packs and ended up with nothing. This is here in Austin, Tx. Dude never sells things when he is supposed to.

  14. A 26% increase in one year! That is solid growth right there.
    Not to get to technical and all but what percentage of your marketing efforts were social media related?

  15. Tracy…just wondering if there are plans to release the production of the swatches and autos like last years Black Friday promotion.

  16. This was the first year my local shop did this and he was thrilled with the results. It is really more of a comic book shop, but this brought in people looking for the packs specifically. I look forward to the Father’s Day packs as well. He was pretty excited to find out that you do that as well. The only downer of the day was my Prestige Basketball box was shortened an auto, and the two autos I pulled were redemptions.

  17. I agree with the sentiment over the thick packs, its why we have ALL the packs behind the counter and tell customers to pick a number, we count out to that number and hand them there pack. We then reshuffle the packs and tell them to pick a number again, and repeat until they are finished. ITs the most honest way we could come up with to ensure that no one could cherry pick the thick packs.
    Other than that its another excellent promotion, we moved alot of Panini product even stuff not associated with the Black Friday packs. Always nice to give your customers a little extra something to make there collecting experience more enjoyable.
    Thanks Panini! And thanks to all our customers!
    Scott’s Collectibles
    Kannapolis NC

  18. Seems like Panini, just throws in extra cards from old sets into these packs. Like the Prestige football relics from Draft day. The cracked ice cards are nice though, The Santa hats are a big hit in my mind. So of the cards are nice, but I wouldnt go out of my way to buy Panini boxes just for these packs. Maybe next year try changing in to all new cards and inserts, it will give collectors a real unique feel to the packs.

  19. The hobby shop at least the only one in my area that I know of, isn’t good. They are only looking out for the ones who spend a lot of money in there sorry but I can’t spend hundreds of dollars in there every week sad and that makes it hard for me to go in there and spend my hard earned money but u guys do DO an amazing job keep it up

  20. Hey does anyone happen to know what the Black Friday Cracked Ice autos (like the Clay Matthews card in the first photo) are numbered to? Thanks!

      1. Why doesn’t the card itself show up in Any checklist on panini or beckett. But the other cards like this of other players do…

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