Monday, June 7, 2010

Exercise: All-Star Packaging

For several years I was art director for the Major League Baseball Trading Card Game. The product featured players in their current jerseys. (Managing the hundreds of photos and the staff photographers was a full-time job in itself.) Each player's card featured stats that were reflective of that player's performance during the season. The customer can pit their dream team against their friends using a clever gameplay mechanic. Pretty cool stuff.

The game featured several expansions throughout the year to reflect trades, injuries, and other dynamic well as new athletes that were performing well.

The Starter box, (above), contained rules, a playmat that resembled a baseball diamond, and an assortment of cards that players could use to get a feel for the game. When they were satisfied with the experience they could improve their team with booster packs, (below).

To add to the excitement for the dedicated fans we also created an All-Star SKU. This was a complete playable game and had all of the all-star players. The box also contained tabbed cards and provided a collection container for storing and sorting card collections. Below is the carton (slash storage box) and the playmat.

In 2002 we ran into a big problem. Due to the game going very long, (11 innings), the teams ran out of available pitchers. The game ended in a tie and disappointed baseball fans across the nation. This was terrible news for our premium product and we feared poor sales.

Our novel approach was to play on the unresolved nature of the game by featuring a cigar band with the marketing text, "Settle The Score!". Sales ended up being better than expected.