Panini to bring first Twittergraphs to world

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

It may look like a simple trading card, but it’s got to be an industry first.

It’s a certified autograph card with a Twitter handle inscription — a Social Signatures insert card to be found in the forthcoming 2011-12 Elite hockey card set from Panini America.

Call it the first Twittergraph.

So when Paul Bissonnette sits down to sign his cards, as seen here, he’ll sign his name and write his handle, @biznasty2point0, on his card. In case the Phoenix Coyotes left wing’s penmanship is lacking by the time he signs a few, the same handle appears on the card itself so fans can follow him — or show off their newest card to him.

An innovation such as this does likely come at an added cost — inscriptions often cost card companies an additional fee (just like you when buying at a card show) because of the added time it will take to write them. (Time is money.) But it could pay off for Panini as you can also bet that there’s an added bonus built in here — the cards are quite likely to be talked about on Twitter.

What better way to get collectors talking cards than via tweets about cards from the players on the cards themselves? (It’s not the first Twitter-related trading card, though. You’ll have to go back to 2009 for that. Click here for the info.)

Panini officials have been mum with details on this one — size of checklist, quantity of cards signed and so on — but they will be found one per case in Elite, which arrives late next month.

Meanwhile, a  little birdie (it’s all about the bird on Twitter) informs me that it might be a possibility in other sports as MLB players such as @JasonHeyward have been spotted using their cellphones in certain photo shoots. Will they end up on cards? We’ll have to wait and see — but it’s an interesting possibility.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Love or Hate: Social Signatures

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  1. card opinionator
    Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Great idea. Finally something fresh to look forward to.

  2. Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    I agree. I think it’s a great way to appeal to a younger crowd that uses social media as their primary means of communication!

  3. Trevor Small
    Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    this is stupid.. what’s next.. their social security numbers? this is just plain dumb

  4. Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 01:06 PM | Permalink

    It’s pretty sad that this idea made it out of the meeting room.

  5. tolentinotown
    Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 01:11 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know about that, Spankee. I think it’s a great to see a card company acknowledging the times and providing collectors with a contemporary way to follow these athletes.

  6. Kevin
    Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 03:34 PM | Permalink

    I am not a twitter fan but have no issue with the concept. The fleeting nature of scoial media sites could make these fun oddeties in a few years. Imagine a set fom the mid ’00s with myspace handles or a a set from 1995 with players Prodigy account names.

  7. Kat
    Posted Wednesday January 4th, 2012 at 08:21 PM | Permalink

    Trust me, it’s worth it to check out some of these twitter accounts. (Especially BizNasty’s)

  8. Posted Thursday January 5th, 2012 at 02:21 AM | Permalink

    For me this belongs in the same category as the cards where players wrote their favorite movie or childhood hero.. it’s just weird. Rather than a Twitter account I’d prefer to see more signature + nickname cards, especially from the less common players.

  9. Dan C.
    Posted Thursday January 5th, 2012 at 06:02 AM | Permalink

    Panini shouldn’t have to pay extra big fees…these cards will get these guys tons of new followers, from people who pull the cards, people who buy the cards, or people who just see scans of them in various places online.

  10. JayKayZee
    Posted Thursday January 5th, 2012 at 08:58 AM | Permalink

    Something else for Panini to put redemptions in thier products or…

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