NBA Starting 5 Promotion Returns

The registration period opens today for hobby shops to participate in the 2008-09 version of the NBA’s Starting 5 trading card promotion. This marks the second season for Starting 5, which will coincide with the start of the upcoming season. Previously, the league has used card promotions during the second half of the season.

“We surveyed a number of stores who participated and everybody thought it was a great promotion – their customers enjoyed it and it increased pack sales,” said Lisa Goldberg, the league’s senior director of trading cards and memorabilia. “Based on that survey, we made some improvements to the promotion, and look forward to having even better results.”

Moving the promotion to coincide with the start of the season was one of the suggestions from dealers. Expanding the length of time collectors could participate in the promotion was another change.

“We not only made the window longer for stores to run the promotion, but by having it come out at the start of the season, it also coincides with the newer releases that feature a lot of the rookies,” Goldberg said. “It also comes out at a time when some of our lower-priced products are arriving, and that encourages more kids to get involved in the promotion.”

The NBA will announce its Starting 5 lineup of players. Between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15, all customers who purchase 2008-09 NBA-licensed basketball cards will receive a special vinyl card holder. Once they collect all five designated players from packs, they will receive a special limited-edition card provided by Topps and Upper Deck. Some of those cards will be autographed.

Customers can also register for a chance to win the grand prize, a trip for two to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix.
More than 300 additional prizes will be available, including a year’s worth of NBA trading cards and NBA trading card binders. Stores will receive a promotional kit with instructions and signs that promote the event.

Last year, participation was limited to just 200 stores. This year, it’s been expanded to include the first 350 stores that register. Canadian shops outside of Quebec are also eligible to participate.

To sign up, stores must send their business name, a contact name, address, city, state, zip code, phone, fax and e-mail information to nbacards@nba.com or via fax to (212) 754-6414. They can also find more information at NBA.com/Starting5promotion. The registration period ends no later than Oct. 15.

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