Is there anything a Cubs World Series has not impacted in a positive way today, even baseball cards; something which we used to have to wait six months to get, got a nice bounce from the end of the streak.
On Monday, TOPPS, the venerable card company, announced that with the Cubs run they had broken all their own projections on their TOPPSNOW first-year product, which gives fans access to the best moments in baseball on demand and almost in real time. Bolstered by Chicago’s title, and the fact that they had four of the top 10 individual bestselling cards during the season and a massive sell during the playoffs and World Series, the company announced they had 500,000 cards sold in the first year of the partnership with Major League Baseball. That is about 1/3 of all cards sold in a regular season in the conventional way, opening up a new and innovative on-demand revenue stream for TOPPS.
“This is something we’ve wanted for a long time, a way to turn product around very quickly and give fans something to remember events as they were happening,” said Jeff Heckman, Topps director of new product development and e-commerce marketplace told the Sports Business Journal. “We’ve finally refined the model, and it’s exceeded our wildest expectations.”
Topps produced 665 different MLB cards during the initial season with the Cubs (38 cards plus postseason), Boston Red Sox (36 plus postseason), and the New York Yankees (28) having the most. The top players in the regular season were David Ortiz with eight cards, and Ichiro and Chicago’s Kris Bryant (who signed an exclusive deal with the company the day after the World Series ended) with six each. TOPPS has also sold over 9,000 sets of Chicago Cubs World Series sets as well.
The announcement by TOPPS follows reports of record sales by MLB online retailer Fanatics, as well as a big boost in viewership overall for FOX, largely helped by the compelling playoffs and the seven game series. Everything from pizza delivery to beer sales also smashed records in and around the Windy City in October and early November, showing that Wrigleyville delivered more than just baseball wins for Joe Maddon’s team.
Let’s see if that business winning streak continues into 2017.