Its been seven long days for a lot of breakers out there, and seven longer days for the collectors who have been looking to pick up any of the main National Treasures rookie cards of Odell Beckham and Teddy Bridgewater. Although both players have had autographs in the product that have surfaced as early as the day before release, it took this long for the least rare examples to pop up.
So far, at least 3 of the missing cards were uncovered last night, with two pulled in the same batch on a large group break site.
Here is the first of the auctions to be posted:
As I have been saying this whole time, none of this comes as a surprise. My stance from the first mention of this debacle was that was likely that a pack out or collation issue. Based on what everyone on every message board and every social media outlet has guessed, the floodgates will open, the cards will show up, and Panini’s spin doctors will go to work.
— Panini America (@PaniniAmerica) April 16, 2015
Although they crafted a carefully worded response on facebook a while ago that offered zero insight into the issue, it only took them a matter of hours to get the hype train a rollin’ on addressing the concerns.
Stupid hashtags aside, its borderline irresponsible to continue the charade that the cards were in circulation from day one. Although they were probably not lying in saying the cards were packed out, I have stood by the assertion that “packed out” and “in circulation” are two very different situations.
My prediction is that these cards will serve as the lightning rod for their response mechanism. They will point mercilessly in this direction, hoping that the cards’ eventual appearance shows that they were right all along. However, that is about as far from the issue at hand as it can be. Its not about whether or not the cards eventually show up, its how long it took. Panini may want you to think its about missing cards eventually surfacing and how they were right, but we cant forget the true situation.
The best part about this is that Panini’s blog cant trot these cards out as much as they want, as Redemptions dont have the same pull with collectors. Imagine if Teddy and OBJ were live and how much more potential those have to be lauded to the world. A redemption card just doesnt have that same appeal. They also know that the Beckham cards have the potential to turn into another Russell Wilson situation from 2012, where it took ages for the cards to finally get done. They would be ill advised to get people’s hopes up without knowing the cards will be done in a short timeframe.
Now, Panini’s team finally got tired of my coverage of the event and let their emotions get in the way of following best practices discussed in entry level Marketing classes. Seeing comments like this should show you how they are perceiving their place in this fiasco, as well as how they feel about criticism brought by their customer base. Best part is, I bet the words I used are half as tame as the emails they have been getting from other people. Yet, they chose to use their time in this fashion. Its just the cherry on their shit sundae when they have to stoop to my level, right?
— Jason Howarth (@sportsmktgguy) April 16, 2015
Over the next few days, I would expect 5-10 more of the cards to show up as wave 2 boxes from the distributors finally make their way into the hands of the breakers. Panini’s favorite group break sites will likely feel the benefit immediately, even if they are not looking for that kind of treatment. I have talked to a number of people who have all been as surprised as I am that it took this long.
Prepare yourself for the blitz. It will come hard and it will come fast. Just keep all of this at the back of your mind when reading their posts.
Just so you can see how “transparent” Panini wants to be about this, here is an email that was sent to a user who reached out to them for a response. Pretty clear narrative is being established, and I am loving every minute of it.