UD crowns two Canadian stores as Hockey Card Heaven

For several months Upper Deck has been on a quest to find two Canadian hobby shops that hockey card collectors could call heaven on earth. Upper Deck worked closely with its two Canadian wholesale distributors – Grosnor and Universal – to create a campaign encouraging hobby shops in Canada to host more events, create fun programs for kids, run cool promotions and effectively merchandise Upper Deck products. Two top shops would be named Upper Deck’s “Hockey Card Heaven” winners and receive NHL player appearances in their store.
Comic Connection in Hamilton, Ontario was one of the well-deserving winners of the campaign. The shop is well organized that staffers can find individual cards for customers in the blink of an eye. They even created a window display using 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey Cards (the company’s first NHL release) that spelled out “HOCKEY CARD HEAVEN” to help get the word out. They also ran different specials every day during the length of the promotion (Nov. 15 through Feb. 28) to thank customers for their support. To engage kids, they designated every Saturday as “Kids Day” and offered a variety of specials to make the shop more family friendly. They also tied in some of their larger promotions, including charities such as the Canadian National Autism Foundation.
"We’re extremely excited,” said Ted Krieg, owner of Comic Connection. “We’re big hockey fans and it’s fantastic to have something like this happen for us. We thought it was a great promotion and all of our staff just jumped at the opportunity. We worked really hard for this, but it’s also been a lot of fun, especially for our customers!"
Wayne’s Sports Cards in Edmonton, Alberta was also deemed “Hockey Card Heaven.” The team at Wayne’s kept very busy to make sure they had a shot at winning. They held coloring contests for kids, while grown ups were invited to show off their collections during “Open House” events. One of the bigger promotions they ran was called “Score with Upper Deck” where customers purchased a box of product, in exchange for an opportunity to shoot on the owner (slap-shot style), who was decked out in Edmonton Oilers gear. If the collector scored, he won a prize. Some additional promotions were built around Upper Deck releases like SPx and Black Diamond brands.
“Programs like ‘Hockey Card Heaven’ really help a retailer get motivated to come up with new and exciting ways to engage our customers,” said Wayne Wagner, owner of Wayne’s Sports Cards. “Anytime you can bring in a professional athlete to the store, it creates a buzz. Getting to meet a player face to face is such a great experience for fans and I know our customers are going to love it.”
Both of these shops will be receiving an athlete appearance from a well known NHL player. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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