A Look At Ryan O’Hara: Topps Gets A Social Media Upgrade

Yesterday, Topps announced that Ryan O’Hara would become its new CEO.  Departing is Scott Silverstein who has been with Topps since 1993 and will stay on the Topps board.

O’Hara holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.  This guy has spent so much time in school, he probably hasn’t opened a single pack of trading cards in his life…… just joking 🙂  O’Hara is coming over from TV Guide and TVGuide.com and in the past has worked for Nestle and Fox Sports.  Having worked for Nestle could possibly help Topps out with their candy business and working for Fox Sports means that he’s not totally lost when it comes to sports.

One area that I’d like to see O’Hara succeed in at Topps is their social media division.  O’Hara is one person that truly embraces social media and marketing.  This is one place that Topps drastically needs to make some improvements in.  Topps does send some products out to a few websites other than Beckett, but other than that, they really fall short of what some of the other manufacturers are doing.  They do have Topps Town and that iPhone card flipping app, but other than a few Tweets every now and then they don’t do anything too spectacular.  Don’t even get me started on the augmented reality stuff your suppose to do with a webcam.

On March 1, O’Hara will start as the CEO of Topps, and it will be interesting to see what changes he can bring with him.

What type of changes would you like to see at Topps?  For one thing, cover up the redemption codes so people can’t use them and then place the redemptions up for sale!


5 Responses

  1. The embrace of social media marketing starts at the top. It would be great to see them do more. Heck, I’d like to see a CEO blog!

  2. I’d like to see Topps re-earn the trust of the collector. That hasn’t happened yet. For me, he can start with a coherent base set. What is it?…a chronicle of the season just completed?…or a preview of the season to come? If it’s the former (my preference), retire the air-brush and release the baseball set (all at once) around Thanksgiving; then follow up with an update set around opening day, and another one in August. If it’s the latter, get it right. Fill Series 1 with players under contract, and push all free agents to Series 2. If someone from Series 1 gets traded, give them another card in Series 2.

    Next…get back in all four major sports. Realize that ‘exclusive’ deals with leagues, players, etc., are not only bad for the collector; they’re bad for the companies as well. It equates to fear of competition. Success comes from good products, good distribution, and good prices, not from exclusivity.

    Finally, pronounce Topps to be ‘gimmick-free’ under your watch. No more intentional ‘errors’, no more ‘props’ in the stands, etc. Oh…and cut the number of inserts by a factor of ten.

  3. I have sent 2 emails regarding the poor quality of the 2010 Bowman Chrome. Some of these cards are cloudy, scratched and just represent quality control that is done by I don’t know by what means. I paid very good money for a case I bought and I feel the response that I got back from my emails was just a standard reply. Time wasn’t even taken to read my message or there wouldn’t have been any reply. I just wanted a “higher up” to take to heart the problems that myself and about 20 other dealers felt at a Dayton, Ohio show last weekend. I included my ph# on my email, but I am sure that I won’t hear from anyone.

    David Thomas

  4. Bring back wax packs with the stick of gum. I don’t collect cards, but remember when I did (’84-’91). Nostalgia… I’d rather buy wax packs for my son when he gets to be old enough to get into collecting. Hopefully Topps will make them.

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