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The inside of the “Sorry For Your Loss” card

In the Cards
Fanatic Cards Tapping New Licensed Market for Retailers
August 28, 2007

Few industries speak to consumers the way greeting cards do. According to the Greeting Card Association, 90 percent of all U.S. households participate in the category, which translates into $7.5 billion in retail sales a year. Greg Solomon, the CEO of Fanatic Cards, wants sports retailers to get in on the action.

The cover of the Rivalry series card

“We offer licensed greeting cards for every occasion,” he says. “The opportunities for retailers are endless. Sports-themed greeting cards are new, different and unique.”

Fanatic Cards launched three years ago with a fundraising program for college alumni associations. A box holiday card program followed, and then Solomon developed a full single card program. Currently, the company is focused solely on collegiate product with some 40 schools in the fold, including Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Texas and LSU. According to Solomon, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We plan to double our number of schools,” he says. “We print digitally and have no minimums, which means we can work with colleges of any size. We’ve also been talking about pro licenses—we get a lot of requests for NFL teams.”

On of the Fanatic Cards display racks

To date, the most popular offering from Fanatic Cards is a “Sorry For Your Loss” sentiment—an ingenious card that opens to a huge scoreboard with spaces to record the score of a particularly galling defeat. It plays on the natural rivalries that exist between college sports fans. Along those same lines, Fanatic Cards has also done well with the Rivalry line it introduced last year. The first card featured Ohio State and Michigan (“Go Bucks, Beat Blue” and “Go Blue, Beat Bucks”). More teams are on the way.

“We also have a new musical card in production,” adds Solomon. “When you open it, it plays your school’s fight song.”

For the growing number of retailers signing on with Fanatic Cards, Solomon says it’s not a hard sell. Making it even easier is the merchandising support provided by the company, which includes three different POP racks. “The response for far has been tremendous,” he concludes. “Fanatic Cards are perfect for anyone who is a college sports fan and anyone who buys greeting cards.”



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