NBA begins “Starting 5″ trading card program

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced the start of the second annual “Starting 5” trading card promotion which challenges fans to collect the cards of five designated players for a chance to win a trip to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix*. This year’s Starting 5 lineup features Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker and Chris Paul. Interested hobby shops can register between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 to become a participating location for fans and collectors to enter the promotion.  The first 350 hobby shops to register will be eligible to participate.

After the promotion’s successful first year, where 200 shops reported NBA pack sales increased an average of 15 percent, the program has been expanded to give 150 additional shops the opportunity to participate plus shops in Canada (excluding Quebec). Participating shops receive in-store signage and promotional materials, as well as NBA Starting 5 vinyl card holders which participating customers receive (first come first serve). This year’s program coincides with the start of the 2008-09 NBA season and the release of many new NBA card products, including rookie cards, game worn and autograph cards of today’s NBA stars.

“The Starting 5 promotion was well-received by collectors and shop owners last season and we expanded the program this year to create even more opportunities for hobby shops and collectors,” said Lisa Goldberg, Sr. Director, NBA Global Merchandising Group. “We’re confident this year’s program will allow more shops and fans to participate.”

Beginning Nov. 1, consumers who purchase packs or boxes of 2008-09 NBA trading cards from their local participating hobby shop will receive an NBA Starting 5 vinyl card holder to begin collecting the cards of each of the Starting 5 players.  Once all 5 players have been collected, consumers will get a special limited edition NBA trading card packaged in a secret sleeve courtesy of Topps and Upper Deck.  Some of these limited edition cards could also be autographed by Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Greg Oden, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade.  Consumers will also have a chance to enter to win a Grand Prize trip for 2 to attend the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.  Additional prizes include a year’s worth of NBA trading cards or an NBA Trading Card Binder.

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