Companies scramble to capture Favre as a Jet

High-profile trades aren’t a common occurrence in the NFL, especially ones involving one of the league’s most popular and collectible players. The trade of Brett Favre has sent the NFL’s three licensed card makers scrambling to get their first cards of Favre in Jets gear into sets as soon as possible.

Donruss will utilize a photo taken at a press conference Thursday of Favre displaying his new Jets uniform on a card that will be part of the Playoff Absolute Memorabilia product available at retail. The set ships Aug. 20. Donruss had a photographer on hand at the press conference to capture the photo. The card of Favre (No. 101) will replace the card of fellow Jets QB Kellen Clemens in the set.

The hobby version of the Absolute product had already been printed, so the first Donruss product to reach hobby shops featuring Favre as a Jet will be Leaf Certified, which ships in early September.

While the companies already had Favre autographs and Packers memorabilia in place for cards, they are now racing to acquire game-used Jets material for use in this year’s products.

“It won’t be impossible, but it will be tough,” Donruss Marketing Director Scott Prusha said of the chances of getting game-used Jets jerseys into this year’s sets. “It took us almost the entire season to get our hands on a Randy Moss Patriots uniform last year. These guys are very protective of their game-used items, especially when there’s not a lot available.”

Topps reported that Favre will make his first appearance as a Jet in the Topps Mini Team Sets product, which ships later this month. He’ll then appear as a Jet in all of the company’s Topps and Bowman products moving forward.

Upper Deck will insert exchange cards in its upcoming NFL Icons for limited-edition Immortal Letterman cards for Favre in a Jets uniform. If a collector completes the whole set, it will spell out “Broadway Brett” with the Letterman cards. That product releases Aug. 27.

In terms of base cards, Upper Deck spokesman Chris Carlin said the company will certainly have Favre pictured as a Jet no later than its SP Rookie Edition product, which ships in November, although it was still looking into the possibility of getting him into an earlier release.

“We thought a trade would be coming, and we talked about it prior, but when we came in Thursday morning there were meetings being called, e-mails being sent and phone calls being placed to find out where and how we could get him into new sets,” Carlin said. “It’s funny how a high-profile trade like this has everyone scrambling.”

The resolution of Favre’s status for this season was a boost for Upper Deck, which is including more Favre autographs into product this year than ever before.

• Meanwhile, CNBC.com reported that NFLShop.com set a record by selling 6,500 Favre/Jets jerseys within 24 hours after they became available, a record number for any single player. The site also registered a record for single-day revenues. In addition, NewYorkJets.com sold more Favre jerseys in one day than the total number of jerseys sold on the site in any month during 2007. Also according to CNBC.com, the average Favre item sold on eBay jumped in price from $24.60 on Wednesday, the day before his trade, to $47.86 on Thursday.

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