One great thing about the industry Summit each year, is the giveaways done. Although the summit is more for the professionals, that doesnt stop collectors from chasing the giveaways that many of them use to pay for their trip. These giveaways are aimed at bringing people into the store to generate business, but a lot of the time, they eventually end up on eBay to pay for travel expenses.
As always, the Panini team has made a name for themselves in repackaging the leftovers from previous products to provide packs for the attendees to take home. These “black boxes” usually contain a combination of low numbered or 1/1 jerseys and 1/1 autographs, equivalent to a souped up version of Black Friday and Father’s Day Packs. Sometimes, new content makes it into the packs, but most of the time, its just re-numbered left overs from previously released sets. They sell extremely well, and I know many attendees of the summit who can pay for every dollar spent just by getting a good card in their pack.
Like Panini, Upper Deck usually puts together a grouping of cards specifically for the conference. These include autographs, which are only available at the event, and can be incredibly low numbered. Back when they still had licenses from the major sports, they produced multi autograph cards that crossed every sport for the only time during the year. Now, there are mostly low numbered cards from all sorts of players, and for the most part the appeal just isnt there as much. As for this year, they are offering a set of cards including some autographs, which is expected to coincide with a partnership coming up.
This year, Leaf was a mover and a shaker at the summit, with sales almost tripling from 2011 to 2012. They sponsored an appearance by Frank Thomas at the show, who signed autographs for attendees this morning. Im sure more giveaways are planned, but for the most part, Thomas was the biggest of the show. He signed exclusive cards for people, and I would guess they will go for a ton of money when they are posted.
Over the years, Topps has focused on more specialized giveaways at many events, including the national convention, but they have had autographs and other cool cards I have seen on eBay. Last year, they sponsored a bowling night, which included some giveaways for the people that went, and I assume we will get more news shortly on their plans.
As I said in my previous post, I have some pre-conceived notions about the way this event functions. Either way, I will definitely be on the look out (as a collector) for some of the rarities available through this event.