Case Study

The Situation:  In 1996, the sports card industry was undergoing a massive correction with rapidly falling sales, substandard products and a shrinking consumer base. Once the category darling and innovation leader, Upper Deck had lost its competitive edge with collectors. The immediate challenge for the brand was to reestablish favor with collectors and regain its status as a cutting-edge innovator of collectible products.

The Strategy

Over a six-year period, we leveraged new product innovations, sweepstakes promotions, celebrity appearances and athlete spokesmen to raise the company’s profile in the collectibles trade (hard core collectors), and the consumer media. Successes included stories in USA Today (The Upper Deck Collection), Newsweek Magazine (PowerDeck), Golf Magazine (Golf Trading Cards), People Magazine (Win a Round of Golf with Tiger Woods), ESPN, Sports Illustrated and more. The Win a Round of Golf with Tiger Woods campaign earned a Bernays Mark of Excellence from PRSA and drew a TV audience of 13.4 million and 134 TV stories.