For several months Upper Deck was on a mission to find two Canadian hobby shops that hockey card collectors could call Shangri-La. Upper Deck and its two major Canadian distributors, Grosnor and Universal, created an exciting campaign encouraging hobby shops in Canada to host more events, programs, and promotions to create excitement for new Upper Deck products. The two winning stores would be anointed Upper Deck’s “Hockey Card Heaven” and receive an in-store visit from an NHL player.
Comic Connection in Hamilton, Ontario was chosen as one of the winners of the campaign. With a stroke of ingenuity, they created a window display using 1990-91 Upper Deck hockey cards that spelled out “HOCKEY CARD HEAVEN." The store also ran different specials every day during the entire promotion (more than three months) to thank customers for their support. Every Saturday was designated as “Kids Day” and the store offered a variety of specials. Comic Connection also included charities such as the Canadian National Autism Foundation in their promotions.
Ted Krieg, owner of Comic Connection, was excited about being chosen. “We’re big hockey fans and it's fantastic to have something like this happen for us. We thought it was a great promotion and all of our staff just jumped at the opportunity. We worked really hard for this, but it’s also been a lot of fun, especially for our customers!"
Wayne’s Sports Cards in Edmonton, Alberta was also chosen as “Hockey Card Heaven.” The team at Wayne’s held colouring contests for kids while older collectors were invited to show off their collections during “Open House” events. One of the larger promotions which they created was called “Score with Upper Deck” where customers purchased a box of product, in exchange for an opportunity to shoot on the owner. The owner, who was decked out in Edmonton Oilers gear, handed out a prize if the collector scored.
“Programs like 'Hockey Card Heaven’ really help a retailer get motivated to come up with new and exciting ways to engage our customers,” said Wayne Wagner, owner of Wayne’s Sports Cards. “Anytime you can bring in a professional athlete to the store, it creates a buzz. Getting to meet a player face to face is such a great experience for fans and I know our customers are going to love it.”
Congratulations to Wayne’s Sports Cards and Comic Connection!