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Old 03-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Beckett: Industry Summit: Leaf’s corporate address

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

LAS VEGAS – Leaf’s Brian Gray didn’t hold back during his corporate address at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas on Monday.

Gray talked about the company’s mission for 2013 but also tried to empower dealers in attendance. He implored them to take charge and tell card companies about what they will and will not accept.

“You need to tell other companies you’re not happy,” Gray told the crowd about 300. “And if you don’t stick up for your customers, you don’t deserve a (patch) database, a better redemption process. … The other card companies can suck it or change.”

Gray has been vocal about his opinions in the hobby since he entered the market. He grabs attention by saying what’s on his mind and bringing special autograph guests to the Industry Summit. This year, Leaf brought in Frank Thomas.

However, that was not the point of Gray’s address.

Here are the highlights from Leaf’s session:

1. Gray said Leaf will be a different company in 2013. The company’s name has a long history and Leaf intends to use that name to its advantage. “Ask people what they want. Listen to what they tell you and give them what they want,” Gray said was the company’s mission statement.

2. One of the focuses on 2013 products will include pre-draft items, which are popular in football. However, Leaf is expanding into other sports such as baseball. These products will seek out younger athletes and give collectors the first cards of potential future stars.

Leaf has a tennis coming with 2013 Ace Signature Series. It’s one of the last tennis products with the Ace name and after it will be branded Leaf.

3. New product: Trinity Football. Product will include jumbo patch autographs, inscription autographs and cards made out of glass.
Along with card products, Leaf will continue with packaged memorabilia. Autographed baseballs are coming out this year. Gray says some of the baseballs will be worth thousands. “It’s going to be a gamble,” he said.

4. Leaf addressed redemptions. Gray said that as of Monday, there shouldn’t be a redemption card that is not immediately available to receive from his company.

5. Gray talked about issues with other card companies and redemptions. He used the analogy that if you went to McDonald’s and ordered fries, you wouldn’t take it if you were told you wouldn’t get them for three to four weeks. “I don’t put up with that and I don’t think you guys should either,” Gray said.

6. Leaf acquired a license to The Mortal Instruments, a series of young adult novels being created into movies. Gray says this should be the next Twilight.


7. Leaf used Johnny Manziel cut autographs and artwork as redemptions in recent football products. Gray said they pushed the envelope and plan on doing more of the same. Gray said his company is protected by first amendment rights in this scenario: “Someday there will be no license and I will change that. I don’t live in fear. I’m more concerned about delivering value.”



8. One dealer was concerned about Leaf’s exclusive with NBA rookie Damian Lillard and the inability to push Panini America basketball products without Lillard’s autographs. Gray said Leaf has just one basketball exclusive where Panini has 12. Gray said he tried to call Panini to say he didn’t want to do exclusives, but no one would take his call. He also promised not to do any future exclusives if Panini promised to do the same.

9. While the “Best of” series has been popular for Leaf, he recognized that the last football wasn’t as good as it could have been. Gray bought many of the cards about eight months before the product came out and the market change so much in that time on certain players. “Hate to say collecting is gambling sometimes, but it is,” Gray said.

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.

Beckett News Industry Summit: Leaf’s corporate address
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the article. I think that on top of the theme of doing away with "player exclusives" they should do away with "league exclusives" too. I think all card manufacturing companies should have the ability to design cards with mlb, nba, nfl..etc uniforms. It all used to be about the design of the card... now its more about licensed products. If you're a college collector you buy Upper Deck, if you're an NFL collector you buy Panini...etc Brands and Sets deteriorate as they've had to adapt to monopolizing power of league license exclusives.

Card companies have figured out how to be more lazy. Buy exclusive rights for NFL licensed products then just design some crap card and then people will buy it because a particular player, like andrew luck, is wearing an NFL uniform vs a College Uniform.

Back in the good ole days it was all about the artistry work in the design of the card. IMHO, we are seeing fewer and fewer nicely designed sets like Allen & Ginter, Heritage, National Treasures...etc.

I used to buy Leaf products back in the day. Now that they don't have a major league license in the sports I collect I haven't bought from them at all.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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and after all this Brian Gray went back to eating his Taco Bell
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Leaf

Non logo photos

sticker autos

its not really doing much for the hobby..

Everything people dont want IMO
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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All this hype and promotion and tomorrow it will be business as usual
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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“Hate to say collecting is gambling sometimes, but it is,” Gray said.

I have seen the light!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kyle1707 View Post
Leaf

Non logo photos

sticker autos

its not really doing much for the hobby..

Everything people dont want IMO
Same could be said for Panini.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kyle1707 View Post
Leaf

Non logo photos

sticker autos

its not really doing much for the hobby..

Everything people dont want IMO
Secondary market ebay sales state otherwise.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Same could be said for Panini.
Panini uses the team logos because they actually PAID for the NBA liscense

Panini also offers plenty of on card options
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by penny1fan View Post
Panini uses the team logos because they actually PAID for the NBA liscense

Panini also offers far too many products and completely waters down the market.
fixed that post for you
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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fixed that post for you
Enjoy your over priced repetetive college uni photos,You wanna talk about watered down yet how many different auto variations of each player in the past Leaf Basketball release? Seems as if you contradicted yourself a tad

Me personally the more brands the happier I am but to constantly slam Panini is silly bein that they are currently the best basketball manufacturer rightnow and it's not even close.Like i said previously Brian Grey,UD,Topps etc could have opened up the wallets and paid for the NBA liscense but did not...I see no need to defend them and attempt to justify the situation.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I watched Brian Gray and his stuff at the Summit. I like him personally and will continue to like and buy Leaf stuff. It's in it's own with sports cards. Panini does alot of great cards this year in 2012/13. I don't think leaf will contend with the bigger products such as NT or Fivestar, but some of the unique products Leaf brings are not to be overlooked. I think anyone who has hit a great box of the Best of series will agree,
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Panini uses the team logos because they actually PAID for the NBA liscense

Panini also offers plenty of on card options
Check out their MLB stuff!
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cardboardkilla View Post
I watched Brian Gray and his stuff at the Summit. I like him personally and will continue to like and buy Leaf stuff. It's in it's own with sports cards. Panini does alot of great cards this year in 2012/13. I don't think leaf will contend with the bigger products such as NT or Fivestar, but some of the unique products Leaf brings are not to be overlooked. I think anyone who has hit a great box of the Best of series will agree,
How is "unique" taking other companies cards and putting them into Leaf packaging? Hardly unique.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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How is "unique" taking other companies cards and putting them into Leaf packaging? Hardly unique.
He is doing this because he dont have a choice. He knows that the collectors wanted to have a auto of Damian Lillard in NBA uni. The big problem right now is the exclusive licence of NBA to Panini. If the licence of NBA will be given to all the other card manufacturer we would have a lot of choices and there will be a good competition.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Mint Condition: Manziel's Autographed Cards Creating Buzz - ESPN Video - ESPN
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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He is doing this because he dont have a choice. He knows that the collectors wanted to have a auto of Damian Lillard in NBA uni. The big problem right now is the exclusive licence of NBA to Panini. If the licence of NBA will be given to all the other card manufacturer we would have a lot of choices and there will be a good competition.
I think you missed my point. Someone called the "Leaf Best of..." products unique. He takes cards from other companies and puts them in products for 4 sports. It is not even close to unique. Is it smart? Absolutely.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think you missed my point. Someone called the "Leaf Best of..." products unique. He takes cards from other companies and puts them in products for 4 sports. It is not even close to unique. Is it smart? Absolutely.
I actually prefer this to about 80% of the crap that all the other companies churn out.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I watched the hour long presentation on YouTube. Seems like a passionate man...it's too bad our choices are limited to only 1 manufacturer. Competition is always good for the consumer.

At least Leaf will have Patrick Ewing exclusive. Can't wait to get my hands on a nice patch auto of his.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Not...sure....if....
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diakonos View Post
...
I used to buy Leaf products back in the day. Now that they don't have a major league license in the sports I collect I haven't bought from them at all.
It is a totally different company. Not related to Donruss, etc, which actually had major league licenses.

Brian Gray bought Razor a couple years ago and renamed it Leaf Trading Cards.
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