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!

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Meeting with TRISTAR President & CEO Jeff Rosenberg

On Tuesday morning I received an e-mail from TRISTAR that said the following:

Dear Valued Customer/Media Member,

As many of you already know, the 30th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention is quickly approaching.  Every year is special to us at TRISTAR because we like to bring you, as well as fans across the globe, the best autograph guest line-up to ever appear at the National each and every year.  But, this show is particularly eventfully for us, as we are debuting a new product on August 25th, TRISTAR Obak.  This set commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 1909 Obak Minor League Baseball cards as we pay homage to both the stars of yesterday and today.

But as a very important part of the baseball card industry, you will not have to wait until August 25th to see a special version of the set.  I would like to offer you some special National Obak promo cards that will be only available during the show to you.  In addition to this, we have a special autograph card or numbered TRISTAR card from our other products to extend as well.

To redeem your Obak promo cards and TRISTAR autograph/numbered card, you simply need to bring this email to the TRISTAR Booth near the autograph pavilion and tell us your name and blog/publication that you are with.

I am really looking forward to the biggest National Sports Collectors Convention that the industry has ever seen, and I truly hope to have the chance to talk you at our TRISTAR Booth just to make sure we are doing everything we can to make your lives a little easier and provide you with products that you can be excited about.  Have a great show!  See you in Cleveland !

Sincerely,

Jeff Rosenberg

President & CEO

TRISTAR Productions, Inc.

I printed out the above message and took it with me to the National.  As soon as the show opened, I went over to the TRISTAR booth and was able to meet with Jeff Rosenberg.  Mr. Rosenberg knew who I was and wanted to say how much he enjoys reading all the blogs collectors have started.  He couldn’t believe the power blogs have over the industry.  I bet we talked for 15-20 minutes about baseball, cards, and the hobby in general.  The whole time we talked he was putting together a display case full of memorabilia like a Babe Ruth autographed baseball, original pack of Obak cards from the early 1900’s, and the 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings card he recently purchased.  I thought it was really cool meeting him, and I’m glad to see a manufacturer embracing the sports card blogosphere.

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For stopping by to talk, Mr. Rosenberg gave me the above 8-card Obak set made for the National.

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He also gave me the above mini Obak cards: Heyward, Stanton, Montero, Morrison, Matusz, Bumgarner, Freeman, Kelly, Taylor, Fuentes, Westmoreland, Grichuk, Jackson, and Obama.

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Before leaving, I got Jeff Rosenberg to sign the e-mail he sent.