As reported a few weeks ago here on SCU, Cam Newton and Mark Ingram were having some issues signing autograph contracts with a few of the card companies. The speculation was that they wanted too much money, and that the card companies themselves would pay more per card than the autograph was worth. Although this type of loss happens frequently industry wide, this time, it was different because of the amount of the actual loss that would possibly take place. Of course, both Ingram and Newton will be integral to the success of any product, and at least Topps has relented to signing a deal with them. We were not told what the deals were, but we do know that Topps is not going to have any issue with products falling short.
Newton and Ingram have proven to be two of the more valuable rookies in the class so far, and to leave them out of the product line would be much more detrimental to profit than the cost of their signatures.
As you can see, they command enough value to make a difference:
In fact, in the course of their announcement, they have released two images that I found to be extremely interesting. The first is the dual auto preview of Newton and Ingram, a card that is definitely cool because of it being hard signed and that it features two Heisman winners on the same card. The second is the first mock up of the Rookie Premiere Autos with the player in a pro jersey, something that I am sure will change over the next few weeks leading up to the premiere. Usually, Topps does an event the night before the premiere, takes shots of the rookies wearing their jerseys against a pre-made backdrop, and then prints them overnight to be signed the next few days during the photo shoot. These cards have been the source of much controversy over the years because of how many fakes get out as a result of overprinting and players not signing all the pre-made cards, but over the last few years, Topps has made an effort to hinder the problem of the unsigned cards making it into the hands of scammers who sign fake autographs on them.
When seeing this year’s design, I have to say that I am not that much of a fan, even though this is not going to be the final product by any means. Im guessing there will be a white background with Topps logos and the player wearing the jersey without pads as usual, with the border being the same. The border elements is what I have the problem with, as in years past, the design of the card has mirrored the design of the set. This year, they do not.
So far, I am glad to see that Topps has gotten their shit together with these guys, as it is a definite necessity for their product calendar. Panini seems to be on the outside looking in for now, as you can see that they have not included EITHER Cam Newton or Mark Ingram’s autos in their previews of Prestige’s hard signed cards thus far. Who knows, maybe its just a coincidence, but after this, Im not so sure. Not that it would make a difference anyways, as the previews have been lackluster at best regardless of Newton and Ingram’s inclusion.