Research Suggests More Kids Bought Cards in 2006

Statistics released by a marketing research company suggest the focused efforts of baseball card manufacturers and licensors to bring kids back to the category have had success.

According to the KidSay Tracker, a research company that tracks kids attitudes and behavior, 28 percent of boys ages 8-11 said they collected sports cards in 2006, up from 9 percent in 2005. Meanwhile, 23 percent of boys 12-15 said they collected sports cards in ’06, up from just eight percent a year ago.

“We are extremely excited with the progress we have made this year attracting kids to sports cards” said Mark Sapir, director of kids marketing for Topps. “Through strong partnerships, effective advertising, solid promotions and a strong in-stadium presence, we have created a much more relevant offering to kids.”

In addition to its ad campaign in SI For Kids and a related kids-focused website, Sapir said the company’s cross-marketing efforts with video game makers also paid dividends. “Our gaming partnerships have quickly elevated the relevancy and stature of our brand among younger users and sampling our card product inside their games has helped us convert young gamers to sports trading cards,” he said.

Upper Deck said more than 120,000 collectors have created online accounts with its Kids Rewards program, and codes from more than 12 million cards have been entered. The company also invested in 10 weeks worth of TV advertising.

“We knew 2006 would be a pivotal year for our kids sports card marketing initiatives,” said Kerri Stockholm, senior sports marketing manager for Upper Deck. “We needed to build programs that would engage youngsters and keep them actively purchasing and collecting. The work is not finished. Upper Deck is dedicated to keeping the momentum going and continuing to bring new collectors into the category.”

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