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?
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.