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Oct. 10, 2022

Hobby Quick Hits Ep.133 What if I was CEO of Fanatics??

Hobby Quick Hits Ep.133 What if I was CEO of Fanatics??

Some times it's fun to get hypothetical, so that's what I did with this episode, the question-what would I do if I suddenly was Fanatics CEO. Let me know where I'm right or wrong.

*New Product Release Schedule
*Hobby News
*Ask me a question...

Some times it's fun to get hypothetical, so that's what I did with this episode, the question-what would I do if I suddenly was Fanatics CEO. Let me know where I'm right or wrong.

*New Product Release Schedule
*Hobby News
*Ask me a question

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9:41 PM

Delivering that breaking chubby little. Alright, welcome to episode 133. Happy quick hits. This episode is also born of a suggestion. I get is that believe? It was mr. David keppel who asked me? Hey what would you do? John, if you were c v 0, 0 of cops Fanatics, and all that. You know what would I do? What would if I had that power and could do whatever I wanted. So that's what this episode is going to entail. I'm going to Approach it, you know, we've heard the rumors and Whispers that, you know, Fanatics was going to acquire Panini or in some form merge or partnership with them. So, I'm going to take that leap. And say that Fanatics, acquires Panini as well. For this episode, that is not what's happened yet, that we're aware of at least publicly announced, but I'm going to assume which, you know what happens when you do. 

But assume that's going to be the case. When I kind of say, you know, things I would do differently or, you know, improve upon so keep that in mind when we get to that segment. But before we get to that, we're going to hear from a great sponsors. Mojo brake, do the new release calendar and some hobby news and then we'll get to what if I was CVO, Mojo brake shop.com is the best place to get your seal. Wax products and breaks, they not only have the best selection but the best prices, whether it's a box or a whole case, they are your guys, they ship worldwide to your doorstep. Their reputation as one of the most trusted in the hobby goes unmatched. They are the 2021 tops. RIT party Champion Breakers from sports card to Pokemon cards. There are selection can't be beat. They offer. Daily deals and pre-orders. 

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Hey guys, it's Mansion sports car shop. A new buffer. Michigan, bring you the weekly releases for this week, starting on the 12th, we have 2022 printing National Treasures, Collegiate football, 2022, Panini prism, Quick Pitch, baseball 2022, Premier, prism WNBA basketball 2022. Tops are kind of baseball and on an upper deck. Space share links on the 14th. We have 2022, we fought Apologies and those are the release for this week. Hope you guys have a great rest of your week and enjoy the rest of the podcast. Thank you. Let's go round our hobby verse and catch up on this week's hobby news. Alright, not a heavy Newsweek, but there is some news to report. Nothing of substance from the Fanatics, Panini deal. Yet again, more rumors arise that it's not going to be an acquisition, it's going to be a partnership. Remember Journey. Money's going to exchange hands. You know, until we really get that press release or official announcement, you know, nothing to see there. SGC is lowering their pricing to $24 for 129 cards. However, as you sub more cards on the order that price will go down to twenty to twenty dollars and they are still going to tell you. And I can tell you, my last order, came back in 28 days so quick, turnaround and now, they've lowered prices to, you know, remain competitive in the market, as a lot of the grading companies have started to lower prices. So a good thing, I'm a huge SGC guy, regardless of being a sponsor, matter of fact, starting at the December 4th Syracuse Fairgrounds collectors, fresh Show. I will be accepting bulk subs for them. I'll have a separate cable for SGC, bulk subs, and a bulks up price. So, if you're in the central, New York area, starting on December, 4th you were able to drop off your cards to be submitted to SGC. So, just wanted to since we're talking about figured, I'd make that announcement. Speaking of grading, PSA will be grading, Funko Pops. Noli figurines, we all love, I do have some, I have some Godfather ones, a Michael Jordan of course a Jackie Robinson. PSA is hired a team familiar with them to authenticate and then give them a numerical grade depending, you know, depending on condition of that box. And so, there you go. They were already authenticating autograph, funko's the autographs themselves. Now, they're going. Gonna do the whole kit and caboodle a ranger fan just got richer. Cory humans, who's the vice president of Fisher Investments was sitting in left field. When Aaron judge, had his American League record 62nd home run. He caught it on the Fly was whisked away to get the ball authenticated. There's was a bounty put on it by a memorabilia. Dealer for two million, you know, no word yet on what mr. Humans, plans to do with his Lottery Win basically that he caught at a mid-air, but you know what would I do? Probably either sell it for that 2 million or take a chance, right? Put it on an auction site and with the hope that maybe you get two million dollars. So, I guess it depends. You know, I'd probably talk to someone One in the auction industry and say, hey do you think this brings more than two million if they say, yes, I probably go that route. If they say, they're not real confident about it. I probably just take the two million dollars, right? The odds of him catching that or, you know, or and high you did. But can't, you know, cash. It, it's not the, the all-time record in the American League record and two million dollars is obviously a good chunk of change. All right, another item. I'm going to ask somebody. Out there if they want to be nice and purchase for me via Heritage auction, it's a PSA six, graded ticket, the date, April 11th 1947 in this is the first-ever Jackie. Robinson appearance in a game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Brooklyn. Before the season. Officially started, did the Dodgers and Yankees played a three-game series X. Submission in New York and this is the first of the three Jackie went 0 for 5 but he did have three RBIs in the game. So this is the first, you know, it's not a game that counted in the standings but it was his first appearance in, you know, a Brooklyn Dodger uniform at Ebbets Field and it's a nice shaped ticket. I saw a picture of it. PSA six estimated to bring thirty thousand dollars, but I have a feeling it. The bring more than that. So if any rich people out of out there want to buy it and donate it to sports cart Nation. I love you for that, I'm obviously kidding, but a great piece of History nonetheless and someone's going to get to own it. See only one known to exist. So there's there's that factor. That's why I think that 30k estimates are going to be blown out, blown out the doors. I think we're looking at At six figures. Let's see if I'm right. When was this? Dad's right. There you go. Our Feature Presentation. All right, so I get asked every once in awhile, you know, what would you do differently? If you were CEO or in charge of a card company and recently, David keppel deck Mac on social media asked me you know, No, in more detail. You know what I would do or what I like to see differently and so I do them rather than type a long text message back, I would do this episode, so here we are right. And obviously, this is hypothetical probably never going to be that. We're going to be the case, but we all do that, right? We all, hey, if I was in charge, I would do this. I would make this rule. I would discontinue that I would stop. This right with, you know that's just natural human behavior and reaction how we would do stuff have you know had we have the power. So that's what this episode is going to be. Like I said in the open it's going to be weird. I'm going to make the assumption that at some point Fanatics and Panini merge Fanatics acquires them, whatever the case may be. So we're going to we're going to take that leap. Of faith. If you will, with some of these what I, you know, want to see and and not see, alright? The first thing obviously being a collector of dealer and being on both sides of the table. I'm very familiar with the landscape from wearing both of those hats, right? Buyer seller collector, I obviously PC things as well. So if I was to suddenly BC Vo, 

CEO of a company in this case Fanatics which is now the largest car manufacturer. I would you know my focus would be on the collector to collector experience keeping folks in the Hobby and as they said right already they want to increase, you know, I believe 10 times what we have now is take its ambitious, but, you know better, To aim high, then the aim low. But coming in, I would really focus on the collector. They're the ones that were are paying my bills, buying our product and so the less. Yeah, you know, you're upset that group the better off, you'll be whatever. You know, you can't, you can't win the whole room. You've heard me say that before a different episodes but you know, you want to win most of the rules. So most of the room. So That would be my objective, and here's how sort of, I would try to go about doing it. So let's start with breaking, right? Sort of the backbone of the Hobbies where most of the product gets go and I don't say most, but a heavy percentage of the product is ripped through through breaking but were you know, whatever we seeing you know in the last few years a lot more brachear. Lot more Breakers and a lot more, you know, No bad behavior, right down, right? Criminal Behavior, were there to hiding cards, keeping them not giving a cards to the rightful winner or owner of them. And so this guy to be repercussions for that if I'm the CEO and I know it's easy for me to say, but if I see that or hear about it, and there's video proof and evidence and that's going to be repercussions. We're not going to sell 

Our product to that breaker, no more direct, you know, I know they're going to have a breaking division, but there's gonna be room for repercussions. If you dupe the public, if you hurt the hobby, we're going to, we're going to punish it. Whether that's a four-year, you can't buy a product from us or if it's really egregious, right? You are banned for life. And if we find out that another account is feeding you supplies to keep your go 

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Going of, Be banned for life, especially if it's criminal and stealing and some of the stuff we've seen recently, just got to be repercussions for that to deter people from doing that other other than hurting their own Integrity. There's got to be more repercussions to that, maybe make a Breakers only product, right? That would be kind of neat, right? A product that's given to Breakers. Is that that's the only way you can get it. Sort of, you know, pretty exclusive. You can't buy it. Direct from us. You can't get it on the retail shelves. This is a Breakers product. Maybe you make, you know, one product a year for each sport that you're allowed to produce, but maybe, you know, something. I thought about a sort of an exclusive product for Breakers grading, you know, if they've sort of peeled back on this, 

But there was talk that Fanatics wanted to get into the grading space. I'm not, I wouldn't do that if I was CEO, that's got to be. It's a conflict of interest and it's got to be done by a separate third-party entity. There's no shortage of them. Although now, most people would talk about the big four, there's hundreds of breaking outfits and I let them do their job. I'd let the people decide which one of those 200, you know, grading companies they want to use to grade our cards hopefully but I would not get it to the space. I think it's a conflict of interest and I take only more damage than good can be done Redemption, right? Hot-button topic, I would try to get rid of as many of those as possible. No one likes redemptions in general but you know I would not go on. 

And say we're going to get rid of them 100%. Because what, you know, I've said this on the show right this much, as we don't like redemptions, right? Redemptions? Having them allow us to get some of these players that without redemptions. We may not get signatures of through, you know, through Cochrane. So, I would say, we're gonna try to knock redemptions down as much as possible and whatever relationship with all the players. Associations being very good. Now two players have an equity stake in sit at the table with us. As basically brand Partners they have more of an incentive to sign their cards and get them back to us. Probably, but again, you know, we may have to have some redemptions just to get certain players. But, you know, I just want to make that you know that Redemption percent 

Very, very low and you know, I think I think the general public would be won't be happy with less redemptions pricing. Right? You know they're eliminating the, you know, Distributors because you know, the Distributors were making hand over fist doing some shady stuff themselves with holding products back saying they were sold out, then putting them back out for sale saying, they'd bottom on the Secondary Market themselves and you know so I'm not every I don't want to pay every distributor like that but you know, Fanatics is eliminating, a good percentage of the distribution, want to go direct to Consumer. That's fine. But I think some of that you know a little greedy to they want to make some of that that those nice profits to and I understand it, you got it, you paid a lot of money for the licensing, you know, and and the company. 

Themselves. So I get you know they're in there they're in the business to make a profit but I would try not to price. My customer base, outright my lifeblood is the collectors out there, I would try to not price them out you know my stance with kids in the hobby. I don't even necessarily think we need a kids only product we just need product that's can be afforded by kids as well. Maybe not every product, right? We're not. Of us making National Treasures product and make it a hundred dollar box of this, it's not feasible, right? But that's one of many but you know your base level non high-end premium products, try to price it you know where it you know the masses can buy it. Speaking of the masses, I'm going to try to produce cards where people can get it but I don't want to keep the The Press is running, I think that's individually. That's a fear of my, even though I don't open a lot of the new stuff like I once did, I think? That's my fear for the hobby, especially people who do ultra-modern is that, you know, least companies, just make way way too much of it. We see it everywhere and, you know, that perception becomes reality that you're just, you know, junk wax ever 2.0, mass production / / 

Action and all that great Equity. We build up in that two years of Boom. Sort of goes by the wayside. So, you know, keep pricing as low as you can keep production as low as you can, I understand as a lot of new people to have these growing, but trying to find that proper balance probably easier said than done easy for me to say here, sitting in my office, but I definitely would try the find that supply and And mix the right balance of it. Alright, Montgomery Club, one of which I am a member we've seen prices increase each year. Even for existing club members, we've seen prices increased for the exclusive wax offerings, and so I'd like to, you know, keep that at a consistent level. But here's an idea, I thought about if I'm fine, Listen. Now, I acquired the Topsail brand and I've acquired The Panini brand. Let's make this Montgomery Club. They we call it something different but let's make this Montgomery type of Club bigger. Which in Copper says let's say tops and Panini. Maybe we make it you know three or four hundred bucks a year and you get a you know you get a disk. Not only do you get you know, exclusive offerings of stuff exclusive to That club but maybe you get 24, you know, if they're going with the direct to Consumer model on all the, you know, the regular releases. If you will, maybe they make this club where, if you are member of the club, you get 20% off that introductory price as well. So almost like a wholesale, you know, I hate to say it like this but like a BJ's are a Costco. You get your fear member of the Fanatics Club will call it you know, you get 20%. 

At off anything after website, anything merchandise, wax jerseys, if it's a Fanatics owned property and you you purchase it and you're a member, you get 20% off, you still get your exclusive Club offerings and I think they can expand and grow that, you know, that club and you know, whether they charge three, four hundred bucks a year, you know? And and they grow that, that'll be it. An income. But it also come with neat perks for the members as well. Customer service, right? We've seen that. Take a hit in the last few years here at hold for 18 days, then you get this connected, no one answers, you can recording and automated system that leads you to know where I'd clean that up. We need to be available to people with legitimate. 

Length, we need to fix things as quickly and as reasonable as possible, we need to hear concerns. Yeah, no one likes a bad phone call. No one likes bad news or the here that they screwed up, right? But we're human that happens, let's fix it. And so I would definitely clean up the customer service department. You're going to get somebody maybe have to wait a little bit, but you're eventually going to talk to somebody who's going to address. Is your concerns and get them. Fix redemptions if you're waiting for something, you know, for five or more years and we've heard those stories, right? We're going to, we're going to make that, right? If if not the card itself, something comparable and and legitimately compare will not compare comparable to what we think. But you know, where the customer and agrees on it, like that's fair, let's do it. And let's clean those up and move on from them and start. Fresh, right? I think it's one of the biggest black guys on these companies is customer service and outstanding redemptions. One of my first things I do is, let's clean this all up. Let's blow it up, fix it, clean it up, start fresh. It's going to be a job and it's going to entail a lot of stuff, but let's get this done. I discontinued some products and some people. I'm going to get some hate mail here or hate messages here, but there's 

Products in my opinion, that I don't know fall short of the mark and some of these may be fan favorites to you. And I apologize if I hurt your feelings I just I don't know I they don't do it for me again. This is one person's opinion mine in this case cops Heritage. Yeah I know I'm this is the one where I'm people probably getting there ready to shoot arrows at me but not a big tops Heritage guy. Why, you know, their designs that have been done before I and I get the premise, they're not trying to fool anybody, I know what, but I think it's sort of run. Its its course, it's not hit heavy. I know it's not designed to be am fully aware what it's designed to do who it's designed for, but I think it's sort of the blooms come a little bit off that Rose. I rather see tops Heritage almost. 

From it inserts and they do that to write how many times we see like the 87 design as inserts or parallel cards. And so in a sense they're doing they're overloading cops Heritage in a certain way. So I rather see these Taps Heritage, almost as insert parallels in the flagship. So you know, 2023 tops comes out and you you know, you put in, you know, the 1973 as inserts, you can do different levels different colors and I know they sort of do that, but as a standalone product I think to me it just doesn't move my m. I one of the things I would probably discontinued, maybe launch a new line or something, something different, right, see what we can come up with cops Gallery, not the worst design product in the world, right? Just, you know, how every time you walk into Walmart, see it 

You know, collecting dust is just not a well-received product by The Hobby community. So let's let's get rid of that archive again. You know, we sort of did this with Heritage, right? It's again, another product where we use designs that have been done before while I. Well, if anyone believes in honoring, the past and tradition and we're where we are where we are now because of that past, it's me, but we just 

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Keep beating the Signs to a pulp and it gets kind of of all that, you know, maybe a Heritage almost, you know, every few years rather than every year you kind of and you build up more anticipation. Hey you know every three years tops Heritage comes out 2023 2026 2029 and maybe a mix of different designs rather than all One Design sort of like what archives is. But instead of being in every year product, it's every few years and I I know some of these people probably like, oh my God, man. Is Heritage is my favorite brand, are you insane? John and you know, sorry if you feel that way, just not my partner. You know, not not for me and I'm not again. I'm not saying you get rid of it, you know, old designs completely, just find a better way to get it in the product where this and that beating us over the head with it. I love you know I think all errors and variations they have a place in the hobby 

And, you know, cops had started to put, you know, data on the back. So, you know, you have something I would continue that, right? I don't think it should be hard to figure out if you have a variation or an error or, you know, an imagery, I think it should be noted on the back. It's done intentionally. It's not a by accident ever, so let people know. Hey, you got a, you know, a short printed card. It's super short printed car I would combine now again. If in attics owns tops and Panini, I would make sort of a Bowman, you product for both Brands, right? Where maybe it won't be called Bowman you, he called something else, but I would have a product that combines both Brands. Can you imagine opening a pack of cards and getting a first Bowman logo and a rated? Rookie will go in the same pack. I think they'd be able to do that with a crossbow. 

The product, right? If they own both, you know, cops and Fanatics. If that's what winds up happening, you can open a pack and get, you know, a first Bowman logo and a rated rookie logo. You can get a diamond king and a tops insert in the same pack and that would just be it, be weird, but it'd be kind of cool as well. So I would have products and maybe Encompass both, you know, nostalgic and famous brands in the same product and And I think almost like a Chronicles but with cops and Panini and that would be interesting for sure. And these Fanatics side you know, prism is sort of their luxury brand. You know that's not natural Treasures or Flawless and I get it, people love prison but I think we've, you know, Panini's really overdone prism releases, one of my jobs were coming in would be like let's 

Let's keep the the prowess of prism up there but let's figure out a way to do it again, without beating people over the head with wood production, you know, the Collegiate prism. Do we need it? Can we be as own design without being prism? You know, we'd have to really sit down and figure that stuff out if your well, but I tried to, you know, prisons, lost a little bit of there. R, luster optic, which is a product I love, is kind of close that Gap. Let's find a way to make prism, you know, little more Prestige than than it's turned out to be, you know, and it's not hurting. It's one of, you know, you get a rookie prism. It's of a player that's performing real. Well, it's going to be a high price card but bring back some of that mistake if you will, you know, there be some products I have Look along the people needing lines that we would discontinue. Maybe some new products bigger. The new products, I'm going to get a little selfish here. I love acetate cards. I'm a sucker for asked to take cards. I know other people are fans of those, you know, the e^x brand. I would bring back. He acts. I would do a lot more with acetate whether it's a standalone product or inserts. I People love seeing through. A card and still having a player depicted on it. And you know again he acts is one of my favorite brands of all time and acetate cards in Ultra did some of those inserts like that back in the day I'd return to those because I think they still ring true and have a lot of demand today. So that would be my my selfish play as CEO cvos. Or acetate on the card. Don't know if not don't overdo it but more than we have now. So there's a just some of my ideas. You know, if I was CVO, let me know what you think. Do you have any? In addition, if you want to beat me up about the top hair at my tops Heritage, take by all means. Go ahead, take your best shot at me, you know, maybe I deserve it if quite frankly, but that's my opinion. Onion. I'm I'm sticking to it. 

Another episode of hobby quick hits. Thanks everybody out there for listening. Probably, you know, it's fun to pretend obviously, I don't believe I'll ever be in that position, but we all do that, right. Hey, what would I do differently? What do I want to see? Done differently? I don't want to see this product no more. They need to make this product better. We all do that, you know? So I got to share We'll see you here a week from today, with another episode, I'm going to my top 10 cards. I'd like to acquire that are affordable. Let me put that disclaimer on it and because I get asked all the time after the Khaki, you know, what are you looking for now? So these are like probably my top 10. I want more than 10 cars but they're my top 10. So, We'll talk about that next week and another episode of sports Star Nation coming up this Friday. We've also just booked some really nice guest for that show coming up here in October. So with that being said, be safe, be well. And we'll see you very soon.