Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SCU Talks With Scott Prusha of Donruss, Awesomeness Ensues

First and foremost, my biggest of all big thanks to Scott Prusha, Marketing Director of Donruss Leaf Playoff Score, for agreeing to and participating in this interview. Of all three companies I solicited for interviews, DLP was the only company to agree. I think it definitely sets a track record that DLP does actually care about their customers. Furthermore, the content of this interview proved to me that they knew exactly what problems were out there, and they are working hard on fixing them. Now, I did ask some questions he couldnt answer, which is understandable, so please dont send me emails on what wasnt addressed. Scott is an incredibly nice guy, and I hope this relationship can continue in the future.

Sports Cards Uncensored: I collect because I love football and I love the chase. What got you into collecting, and how did you end up at donruss?

Scott Prusha: I was about five when I opened my first pack of cards and I've been hooked ever since. I must have sorted those cards a thousand time, by team, position, stats, you name it - I did it. I was lucky enough to have my own shop with my mom and dad as a teen and then started at Beckett when I graduated college. I moved over and have been working at Donruss now for close to eight years.

SCU: Is this a dream job for you?

SP: Absolutely!

SCU: If you could put one card as THE DONRUSS FOOTBALL CARD that would go into a museum for all collectors to see as a representation of the hobby today, what would it be?

SP: The 2002 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads Red Grange/Jim Thorpe, this one card captures what Donruss is all about. The card created a tremendous buzz around the country when it was done, even reaching the mainstream media. It combines two great players and we are still the only company to purchase something worn by either. Donruss is always pushing the envelope when it comes to finding rare memorabilia and cut cards.

SCU: What is your favorite Donruss Product to promote every year?

SP: Since we creatively put so much content into all our products, each and everyone of them has a unique characteristic that makes it fun to promote.

SCU: Fake patch cards are an issue that has almost made it impossible to buy multicolored patches on the secondary market. First, is Donruss aware of this rampant problem? Secondly, is anything being done to prevent it, like creating a database of cards produced?

SP: Donruss is aware of the problem and we are currently the ONLY manufactuerer that has taken a major step to combat counterfeiting. Back in January, we announced a partnership with Kodak where every prime swatch card will be marked with an invisible ink that is detectable by special equipment. Starting with National Treasures, every sports prime swatch card has been marked (and will continue to be marked) and we will be able to detect fake cards and get them off the market.

SCU: With box prices climbing, how is Donruss retooling to make sure that the little kid we all once were is still a part of this hobby?

SP: Donruss is the only manufactory to offer a $.99 product with Score FB. This year we are adding content to it such as stickers, tattoos, etc with the focus on fun and collecting (Pictured Right). At this price point and all the fun elements in it, we feel that parents and kids will love what we have done. Donruss is also one of the exclusive partners of Pop Warner football, the largest organized youth football league in the country. We have worked over the past three years at a few special programs that have gotten cards into the hands of kids. My believe is there is nothing more special than seeing a kid open a pack of cards, its getting them into their hands that is a marketing focus of Donruss.

SCU: Donruss has been an innovator of a lot of trends in the football card market lately, especially in recent years. Is there anything to expect this year that will rock our socks off? Any new products to keep an eye out for?

SP: I've been working really hard on the Ring Kings cards (the first MMA cards ever done in the industry). Its the worlds fastest growing sport and Donruss is ahead of the curve on this one. We have a couple of announcements yet to come that will knock collectors socks off...so stay tuned!

SCU: Two of the biggest gripes from collectors over the last three to four years are the use of stickers for autos instead of hard signed cards, and redemptions. 2007 National Treasures was definitely a step in the right direction, but still far from what we want in a product. What is Donruss doing to give the collecting public what they have wanted for a LONG time, mainly a set with no redemptions and all hard signed cards?

SP: One of the things that gets lost in the mix, is that Donruss produces more on-card autographs than ANY manufacturer. We listened to collectors and then introduced in '07 cards such as the embroidered patches, the stamp carriers, embossed team logos, slide carriers, and we brought back Notable Nicknames and Pen Pals to Treasures. These were all ways to put more on-card autographs into the market place. Cards such as Lettermen have now been picked up by all manufactures, so we're constantly setting the trend.

SCU: Donruss is still functioning on mail in redemptions, something that Upper Deck did away with a few years ago. Any switch we can be anticipating?

SP: Actually, Donruss handles all Customer Service requests and redemptions online, something that we started this year...but so far every program we have released in 2008 (4) has been without redemptions.

SCU: This year's rookie premiere was packed with draft picks from every team, who is your guy to collect for 2008?

SP: Each year I walk away more and more impressed with these young men. It was a great class and I'm pulling for them all. Felix Jones is on my Cowboys, so I guess he's the one I'm pulling for the most, LOL!


Annnnnnnnnnnnd just for good measure, I (heart) DLP.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Did he by chance acknowledge that DLP follows the card blogosphere at all?