Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Deep Does The Relationship Between Beckett and Panini Really Go?

We all know the events of the past four or five months, Beckett and Panini have basically declared their sloppy love for each other, even going pretty far in showing that relationship off to the public. Although its pretty sickening to me, not many people know how deep that love really is.

It starts with tiny stuff, like Beckett receiving boxes weeks ahead of their release, and larger amounts exclusive info here and there. For each of the last Panini releases, Beckett has gotten boxes up to ten to fifteen days ahead of the street date, some of them with pretty nice stuff in it. You may remember that after the hype machine behind the school colors on card autos, Beckett pulled a Percy Harvin, a card I have yet to see being offered to the public. Although it wasnt a huge dollar pull, it was a card from an overhyped, ugly product that needed a little push. I rarely believe these things to be a coincidence.

Of course, this was after the massive amounts of exclusive previews that Beckett receives directly from Panini, sometimes needlessly so. Its almost like they are providing Beckett with these things to try to show people that when it comes to news, Beckett is it, despite the fact that are continually out-scooped by the blogs. Add in that stories are consistently ripped off of the people who do it for fun, and you see why this practice is necessary. Beckett is basically facing the fact that message boards and blogs are now the number one source for hobby news, and they are left with Wrestling cards and promises of finding love for lonely collectors.

What people arent familiar with is that Scott Prusha of Panini Marketing, and Tracy Hackler have been best friends since Prusha started his career with Beckett media. In fact, Prusha and Hackler have such a close relationship, that Hackler was the best man at Prusha's wedding. To think that these two people have teamed together to boost each of the products the other offers, doesnt seem like so much of a stretch anymore. Not only that, but it may be the evidence people are looking for when it comes to establishing the link between Panini and Beckett's coexistance.

Its also kind of interesting that Panini products have been hailed by Beckett Football as the best of the year so far, even though there are less than 10 total products from three companies on the market. Plus, the UD products have made the Panini products look like they were done by people who didnt know what the fuck they were doing, so the title of best of the year seems like a huge stretch. Why else would that be the case other than pure favoritism?

The reason that I focus on this so much is because of what it means for average collectors, who may not spend the time on the blogs. They see Beckett as a legit news source, when really it is just advertising for their buddies. Im guessing that prices for Panini will also be higher this year despite the "market analysts" they have, yeah fucking right. I would go so far as saying that new collectors may be so jaded on this that Panini sales are above where they actually should be, despite the already poor performance they have had on the primary and secondary markets.

Lastly, we already know that Beckett and Panini have had and will have events together that showcase the relationship they have built. There have also been multiple sources that have told me that Panini reps will be at Beckett's national booth, and vice versa. So, based on that information, isnt it safe to say that a company like Panini should not be supported the way that other companies are? I dont remember hearing anything about a Topps/Tuff Stuff relationship where both companies worked together to help the other out.

See, when you present yourself as an objective news source and price guide for the hobby, relationships like the one Panini and Beckett have should not be fucking tolerated. Bottom line. The problem is that Beckett has no responsibility to the people they consider to be their reader base, so they end up doing some of the douchebaggiest things since UD printed extra griffey rookies on the weekends. Sadly, the people they hurt are not the type of people that read SCU and Wax Heaven, but rather the collectors who dont have those opportunities. Each kid who picks up a Beckett forms an opinion, some of those opinions being ones entirely based on the info they read. I know I did as a kid. With that information and those opinions, new ideas are formed, most of which are based on lies.

Ask yourself, are these the type of people you want to support?

10 comments:

  1. I was in a postion when I first started collecing that our only source was Beckett and your local hobby shop. Now over a decade later getting back into the hobby and reading blogs like yours and others along with seeing what cards actaully sell for on Ebay VS. what Beckett says is enough to see right through their Bullsh**. As for as Donruss/Panini goes with the last redemption ( replacement ) I got 8 months later I'm done with thier products! Everything this year so far looks like they puked up every bad card idea ever invented and decided to include it in every product. Even the High end shi* I can't afford anyway. Grant

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  2. Not to mention the fact that they run auctions with their own graded cards, or the fact that they grade period. Or the fact that at one time they put out a graded card price guide blatantly lying to the sheople that their graded cards were worth equal to or more than PSA, SGC, or GAI when we know this isn't true. Or the fact that despite all the evidence to the contrary of needing a printed price guide due to easily searched secondary market values via ebay, that they continue to print one or the fact that . . . should I go on? Beckett Sucks

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  3. To the average hayseed collector, Beckett is the bible. Panini knows this and uses that fact to promote their products. It's just smart business. I'd do the same thing. It's all about the $$$.

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  4. As a collector...I belive that beckett is completely out of date...and that they exclusively pull the prices in the book out of their ass. My opinion is if panini kisses beckett's ass...they can sell more product...there are enough idiots that still read beckett to go by what they say...my two cents....

    Everett

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  5. This explains why an overhyped product like Prime Cuts won best of the year in Beckett.

    How do you explain those exclusive Ric Flair autographs Beckett got for giveaways?

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  6. Simple formula:
    Beckett + Panini = cow poop.

    Any questions?

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  7. I love Beckett cause they put out.

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  8. What is the matter they are just follwing Upper Deck. Next year or 2 UD will be back however they already sucked Beckett off enough for a couple years to last a little. Nothing will be worse then the time UD was whoring themselves out. Panini's relationship is penauts. Also can't blame them they are new to football and run a buisness. Makes great buisness sense

    -wheeler281

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  9. You can defend them and say it's just smart busiess sense, but at the heart of the matter is Beckett pretending to be a legitimate news source/grader when they really are not and are actually in bed with the card companies. Most people that follow Beckett believe it is the NY Times of the hobby. If you subscribed to the NY Times and found out that every article published in their paper was paid for by an advertiser and there was no actual journalism going on, how would you feel? Then you flip to their financial section and all of the stock prices are grossly overstated and don't acutally reflect the market value of the stocks, rather they are the values that the advertisers have assigned. You would never buy that newspaper again, beacuse the iformation is worthless or heavily biased. Behold Beckett: the marketing arm of whoever wants to pay for their services. Perhaps the ignorance of collectors, who fail to see Beckett for what is, is the larger problem. They should be able to figure it out on their own. So, either they don't want to believe the truth or they are just not well educated. As long as those people exist Beckett will be happy to sell them the phone book of the hobby.

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  10. First of all I do not work for Beckett or Panini. Pruscha is "douchebag" in his native tongue, and Hackler is laughable. Gellman, you call yourself fat, yet how can you eat with your nose buried so far up UD's ass? Do you really think Greg speaks freely to you? All the info he spoon feeds you is approved from up above, and yet you base your vast knowledge on his words.
    Funny you make no mention of the Diamond Club event at the Coliseum last week. Did you not get invited, or are you just a usefull tool for Upper Deck?
    You bash A & G, yet year after year it is voted the best set by collectors. Biased? NOT GELLMAN!
    Have you ever been to a pre-release? I have and I've seen Panini send the cards back to be re-packed into product. Remember when you lambasted UD for sending special boxes? Funny how that bitterness dissappeared so fast.
    Do you have any idea how a card set is produced; the formulas to determine the price and content? I bet not.
    Do you know that European companies are run differently from US ones? No, I'm guessing.
    Hey, why no comment on UD Ultimate basketball? I've seen 6 cases opened and they are all shit. No Kobe, LeBron, Jordan or Wade. I'm sure McWilliams will backdoor them like he does with so many things. Maybe you'll get lucky and get one as the chief Upper Deck jock sniffer.

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