Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brand Tebow: More Trading Card Mania

I visited a friend in the sports-business media the other day and he gave me a half-filled box of Donruss Elite football-card packs to bring home for my kids. (That the Donruss Elite (a brand owned by Panini) had Tim Tebow on the front of every pack was a small factor.)

That night, for the post-dinner, pre-bedtime activity with my 4-year-old, we opened up the dozen or so packs left in the box. Needless to say, my kid was hoping to find a Tim Tebow card, but I knew the chances were slim.

We opened each individual pack -- I hadn't opened a sport-card pack in probably 25 years, yet there was that old thrill of anticipation: "What players will I get?" It was crazy to revive the exact same sensation I had as a kid -- and to see my kid experience it for the first time.

The players came and went: Oh, there's Peyton Manning. And a Brett Favre. And a Cadillac Williams. Hey, there's a Joe Haden rookie card. Oh, wow: A card with an actual swatch from Adrian Peterson's game-worn jersey. And a real gem: A card signed by Ndamukong Suh.

But no Tebow card, signed or otherwise. I was mildly disappointed, but recognized that it is perfectly easy for me to find a card shop or go on eBay and buy a single if I really wanted one. (Or really wanted one for my kid.

That's what I thought of when I read this latest from Beckett's blog -- I have loved their coverage (mainly from Tracy Hackler) of the Tebow phenomenon. And it is fairly described as a "mania" -- perhaps the biggest sport-card phenomenon in a decade.

The post, by Mike Fruitman, is about how the Tebow card phenomenon is playing in Denver. As you would imagine, it is fairly insane. Good for the card companies. Good for the card-shop owners. And good for fans who are, perhaps like me, finding renewed interest in cards.

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