We're only three weeks into 2007 and Ultra-Pro already has given collectors plenty of bang for their buck in the supplies market.
The company recently signed a deal with the NBA. Ultra-Pro will release its initial NBA-licensed products in February.
"We'll have several four-pocket and nine-pocket portfolios," Ultra-Pro marketing manager Brandon Cathey said. "The portfolios will feature the NBA logo and could also feature NBA team logos. We'll also have a series of three-inch binders. The first of which will be a pebble-binder that will have the look and feel of a basketball."
Meanwhile, Ultra-Pro has teamed with Topps to include a pack of 2007 Topps Series I Baseball cards with its new Topps Baseball portfolio.
Ultra-Pro also is included in a Major League Baseball Players Association marketing promotion with the Boy Scouts. In addition, Ultra-Pro is offering a free personalized nameplate for its Woodline products.
Ultra-Pro has partnered with the MLBPA to be a part of its Boy Scouts program, which features a giveaway that includes an Ultra-Pro four-pocket portfolio, along with a pack of Topps and Upper Deck cards, as well as a collector's guide booklet.
"The portfolio has 10 four-pocket sheets inside and features custom artwork from the MLB Players Association on the outside," Cathey said. "We're thrilled to be a part of the program and its efforts to encourage kids to start collecting. Having kids understand the importance of keeping their cards safe and protected is important for the industry, and we want to be a part of it."
Ultra-Pro's portfolio combo deal with Topps begins in March, coinciding with the release of 2007 Topps Baseball. The portfolio package carries a suggested retail price of $7.99.
"We are doing a Topps Baseball nine-pocket portfolio for the first time ever," he said. "Each polybag contains the nine-pocket portfolio and one pack of 2007 Topps Baseball Series I cards. This is the first time we've partnered with one of the sports card manufacturers to do a product like this.
The portfolio can hold up to 180 cards. We feel that it is very important to have the cards and portfolio co-packed for instant product recognition by tying the cards to our portfolio," Cathey continued. "Having that pack of baseball cards right there in the package is extremely important for our accessory products once on shelf. The product will make fantastic gift idea and a great starter set for a child or new collector."
Ultra-Pro's Woodline products - which are the wood-based, glass-top holders - have been a very good seller for the company. It produces holders for baseballs, baseball bats, footballs, football helmets and basketballs. The free nameplate offer is currently live.
"The brass nameplate can be applied to the base of any Woodline piece," Cathey said. "We are offering a free nameplate and personalized engraving."
Collectors who want to participate in the program should visit www.ultrapro.com, and click on the button that introduces the program.
"The collector would then enter their personalized information that they would want to appear on their nameplate," he said. "The only charge is $3.95 shipping and handling. It is a perfect way to customize your collection. This offer is being added to all of our Woodline products and will expand into our acrylic products throughout the year, including our new black-base square baseball holder."
Cathey said Ultra-Pro's most popular product, after its world famous nine-pocket pages, is the magnetic One-Touch card holders, which carry an SRP of $1.99. "We introduced this product back in 2003," he said. "Instead of screws there is a magnet that holds the display case together. It's a very secure case. This past year we released three new sizes of the One-Touch displays to accommodate various sizes of relic and memorabilia cards. We introduced a 55-, 75- and a 100-point One-Touch, so we're now up to five One-Touch sizes."
In addition to being an NBA licensee, Ultra-Pro is an official licensee of Magic the Gathering and Pokemon.
"These are major licenses for us," Cathey said. "They'll drive our gaming products for 2007."