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Panini’s Mark Warsop discusses new redemption reward system

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – When Panini America announced its new reward system for redemptions on Tuesday, collectors immediately had a list of questions.

Panini has created the system to replace player-specific redemptions (read more). Beckett Media spoke with Panini CEO Mark Warsop following the announcement with many questions that collectors submitted through Twitter to Beckett Editor Susan Lulgjuraj.

Q. Will the Reward system replace all the hits in a product?

A. No, only when a card that was planned into a program that would have ordinarily been a redemption will be a Panini Rewards card, unless we are running a specific promotion and we want to add rewards just to reward the consumer.

All the regular hits will be in the program. It just replaces the redemption.

Q. How will the value be determined for the points? Will the points be different in different products?

A. The full unit of points or rewards that would be placed in National Treasures would be far greater than a card that would be placed in Score. Essentially, what we will do is look at the value, the secondary market value, based on Beckett and other sources of what that card or perceived value of that card is in the marketplace and that’s how the number of rewards will be decided that go in the program.

So take National Treasures for example, a card from that would have a much greater value than a Score card. More reward cards would be placed into that program for a card that would ordinarily be a redemption than for Score.

Q. Let’s say Andrew Luck doesn’t sign his a card and reward points get seeded into the product, is that one card worth what an Andrew Luck auto would be in the reward inventory system?

A. The points on the card are what we believe is the value missing from the card that it represents. The consumer gets that value in the box. They could use those points to immediately exchange for any card of their choice or they can leave those points and wait. They can leave it and wait, and get a far better card.

Q. Is it a generic point card?

A. It’s a generic Panini reward card.

Q. Will this system allow Panini to get lazy in getting redemptions back?

A. All the hard work will continue to be done upfront because the Reward system is purely a backup process. Our 100-percent effort to put live autographs in a product will always be our main focus. The Reward system is basically the backup to replace the redemption, which was a backup.

Q. What happens to people with outstanding redemptions?

A. We are looking at a couple of varying different things where we give the collector the option to trade over outstanding redemptions for a certain amount of reward points based on value or we will continue to keep them in the system and honor them when they come in. We will give the collector the choice of what they want to do.

Q. Will collectors get notifications when new cards are in the Reward inventory?

A. There is a notification process in the Reward system that the collector has the choice to turn on or off based on their preferences. When you go in there, you can set your preferences to say I am a huge Kobe fan and my favorite product is Totally Certified, so the system is set up that when those cards are available you will know when those cards are there.

There is a content management system on the home page of the website, so if you set your preferences that you are a Kobe fan and Totally Certified is your best product, the cards you see on your homepage will resemble your preferences.

Q. Can I build up points from low-end products to get a high-card end?

A. Yes.

Q. Does the Reward system favor case breakers as opposed to collectors who open one or two boxes?

A. It shouldn’t be. To the flip side, do case breakers suffer more from redemption cards than the regular consumer? It’s the exact same scenario. I don’t think any one individual will benefit more than any other. I think the Reward program will work so that every consumer will benefit from it.

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.

12 Comments

steve emerick

What?

and this adds value How?

This is absolute madness in my opinion!
Id be done with Panini forever if they implement this program!

Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
charlie

you and me both.

Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
Richard

Actually, I’ve been suggesting a variant of this for years.
The difference being I was suggesting it only for those cards which could not be redeemed in
a reasonable time frame.

I like the idea of buying junk level point cards to get something nice.
This is, provided, that they actually follow through and provide decent stuff of course.
The ability to choose where to use the points so I can actually choose will help a lot.

Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

This is an improvement. Not perfect, but an improvement. Kudos to them for trying to deal with something that has shed negative light on the hobby.

Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
Tracy LeVeaux

What’s the number one complaint besides sticker autos? You guessed it: redemptions. Panini has the guts to try something different and people are still complaining? Come on! This is a game changer, pure and simple. I only wish that Topps has the courage to try something like this.

Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
Ed

This sounds very shady to me.

So you don’t have what you promised (owe) the people, so now you will change the game. What is to make me think that this new program is going to work if the old way wasn’t working?

To me this sounds like “a deceptive business practice”.

I see one thing in Panini’s favor, after they set up this new redemption program they can say that its not working out well either and cancel the program. While never redeeming a thing, or how about all you people put your points on the website only to be “hacked” by an outsider and all your points are gone.

This all sounds like a Win-win for Panini……not the collector

Peace

Posted March 19, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink
Paul

I think if this same process was done by Topps or Upper Deck, people would be throwing them a parade rather than actually say something positive about Panini. Look at what Topps “announced” and it was more of the same old stuff, nothing earth shattering. At least Panini is trying.

Posted March 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
Stub Batista

Another bonehead program from Panini. These companies continue to make the collector do all the legwork. Screw Panini.

Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
Jason R

Paul…Here is where I am at with Panini…..
– Product Releases in Dec of 2012
– Redemption Submitted in March of 2013
– Redemption finally fulfilled in March of 2014

Now some of you are saying…”Only a Year, That’s Not Bad”…….He’s a Minor Leaguer, Playing about 3 Hours away in the Same State, his NHL Team is 25 Mins from their Head Office. I can understand trying to catch up with a NHL Star playing 3 – 4 Games a Week in numerous Cities across North America but, not a Minor Leaguer who plays games 2 at home in the span of 2 1/2 Weeks and Yes I looked at their Game Schedule.

There was nothing wrong with the old System except for the Fact they need to actually do some work, now this system cries of being something of convenience for them. Does this mean every time Lebron James comes into do his Personal Services Contract them will have them sign a 100 Extra Auto for their Rewards Suckers..I mean Members. Does this Mean when they get a chance to sit down with a player, they will shove a couple extra auto’s in front of him to fill the Rewards System. Seems like a Lazy way to get around something that was originally promised.

Posted March 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
Wayne Martin, Jr.

So if I’m trying to complete the 2014 Elite Extra Edition autograph set and the usual 15 or so players don’t sign their cards on time, instead of pulling a redemption card where I know (probably) I’m going to get that Elite autographed card, I’m going to pull a ‘points’ card where I’ll have to compete with every other person who bought every other Panini product who might want that card? I buy EEE because I want EEE autographs, not so I can hoard the points and get a hit from some other product. (I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…) I prefer the current redemption program. At least now if I have a redemption for a specific card, either I’m going to get that card or if it is replaced with something else, I know (probably) that that original card doesn’t exist.

On that note, (I know it’s not Panini, but…) how come I’ve been waiting more than 2 years for a 2011 Bowman Platinum Brett Cecil Auto Relic Refractor when I’ve seen dozens of the on eBay in the last couple years?

I don’t like the redemption program at all, but I prefer it to this lottery. Didn’t this fail already with the Signature Rookies Tetrad Autobilia? I want what’s promised on the box to be in the box. Failing that, I want a specific IOU for what I should have received and timely fulfillment thereof.

And how about some kind of bonus for collectors who are forced to wait for redemption cards? Maybe that’s where a variation on the points program would work. I have to wait 6 weeks for my redemption so I can pick a bonus autograph card from Gordon Beckham, Ike Davis, etc. Over a year, I can get Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, with various levels in between.

Ultimately, I say don’t market cards you don’t have. Manny Machado can’t get his sigs done on time, don’t pay him and don’t use them. End of story.

Posted March 20, 2014 at 1:36 am | Permalink
David Johnson

I would like to see more details before I pass judgement, however here are my 2 biggest concerns:
1) If points are determined by player, then what happens when a player gets hot or gets injured, do the points go up and down with the players market value? If not, then if I put in the code for a player who is riding the bench and then the starter gets injured and now my player is starting and in fact playing really well (so much so that his card values are skyrocketing) will I be stuck at the point level determined when I submit my redemption or will the points vary during the season?
2) Will there be enough good inventory in the system that is attainable. In other words, will there be enough high end / big name player items that I can save up points and get them or will they be gone to the case breakers and others who rack up points quickly and then take any high end item as soon as it becomes available. When I think about this it reminds me of the eTopps points catalog, which whenever new items were put in anything worth getting was gone withing seconds.

I think the biggest issue here might end up being who is going to exchange their points for some scrub player who is out of the league, as there are plenty of redemptions for players like that now, and I don’t see that changing. I can’t imagine that Panini is going to stop getting autos from these players, as one could always be the next big back-up to superstar story. However it could also mean that their online catalog might end up filled with thousands of autos of nobodies with everyone saving their points for the next Kobe Bryant auto that gets released to the catalog. This is essentially what happened with the eTopps catalog, where everyone was saving up for the items that were worth spending points on, so when they were listed they were gone instantly, and the rest of the items just sat in the catalog.

Posted March 20, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink
Mike

Guys, this Is not deceptive at all.

Getting a Harper gold Refractor auto and topps trying to replace it IS!
Getting a hendrix redemption and having it replaced with a gooden auto IS!

At least panini is TRYING something.

Posted March 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

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