Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I want trading cards or an action figure

Regardless of what level you achieve in Ultimate, you have to realize that you're not a pro athlete, you're not famous other than in a small circle, and you must love the sport and the people in it if you're willing to commit so much time and money. There's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with trying to introduce elements of bigger sports. I've been known to call (and been made fun of) our desire to be bigger than amateur athletes - sim athlete.

There are two sides to this belief. While some of us feel things such as uniform restrictions make the sport more professional, others of us believe that we should remain a rebellious entity within sport. Our team names, our non conformity, and our self-officiating make the sport great, and these tenants should be maintained.

Pictured Above: One of the latest MMA figurines for sale.

Good points from both sides, but I'm not going to argue for either side today. Instead, I'm here to push the entrepreneurs out there for two things I would like added to the merchandise world as we continue our sim sport. The first is modelled after the latest UFC action figures. I, for some reason, would like to have Ultimate figurines. I don't know why, and as a business model, they don't really make that much sense, but I would like at least one of myself.

What makes more business sense is trading cards. For those of us familiar with the likes of Tops (O-pee-chee for Canadians), Donrus, Fleer, Upper Deck, and whatever new trading card company has entered the sports card market, sports cards are currently sized 2-3/4 inches by 3-5/8 inches and show a player picture on the front with some statistics and/or writing on the back.

Pictured Above: One of my first baseball cards of my favourite baseball player.

How would Ultimate cards work? I've had a few ideas, but the best ever would be a per tournament set of cards for every player at a tournament. Day 1, the camera people would go around getting the photos of everyone, names, and other details, and Day 2 you could buy packs of cards (15 random cards per pack). I still think it would be cool trading for your own team, yourself, or your friends.

"I'll trade you this Alex Nord for your Peter Jamieson," I'll say.

"That seems like a dumb trade," you'll say.

"I'm Peter Jamieson."

"I still think it's a bad trade," you'll say again.

I've thought and discussed this concept multiple times with people. We think it's possible to do, but a business model would need to be created and the technology would need to be well planned.

I remember having a card made of myself at basketball camp. That was in the early 90s, and the advances in technology should make this process cheaper and easier. So far, nobody has pushed the concept, and I'm too busy trying to make other careers happen. Although, if anyone is interested in the idea, I would consider a partnership and provide some of my ideas I haven't shared here.

I'm still surprised that merchandise companies don't have post cards of tournaments. We all ignore our friends and families to play Ultimate, so it would be useful if the full postcard package was available at tournaments to say hi to mom. I'm giving these ideas away for free...expect this one at Worlds.



Taylor said...

I can imagine a team setting up a trading card photobooth at Blender on the Friday night and having the cards printed for Saturday post-game trading.

- said...

Do we have the stats to make this interesting? I don't think so...