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Subject: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a pitch rss

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Ryan Johnson
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Hey everyone!

I know I can count on all of you.

I work at Hallmark as an artist, and in a recently declining greeting-card market, Hallmark is actually looking for places to expand and change their business... so I'm going to pitch the idea of selling board-games in the same way that Barnes and Noble has.

I need some good articles to site in my pitch... anything business related or pertaining to upward trends.

Anything can help!

-Thanks!!!

Ryan (and yes.... Im really only looking for a free ticket to Essen)

 
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T. Rosen
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
I can't think of anything off the top of the head, but I'd definitely recommend browsing the archives of The Games Journal (http://www.thegamesjournal.com/) to see if they have anything on this.

You might also want to check out back issues of Knucklebones magazine (http://www.kbones.com/) to see if they've addressed this.

There's also always that recent Forbes article about the Wii that suggested that the board game market is bigger than the video game market

Best of luck with your proposal, that would be awesome if it worked!

EDIT: I always thought Shear Panic belong at Hallmark, hehe.
 
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Just off the top of my head, I'd think that games that encourage family social interaction or that encourage education would be something that any good business would be eager to promote (as opposed to much of the sex and violence we see in recent video games, blah blah). Well, anyway I saw this article on Funagain.com that looked kinda nice...

http://www.funagain.com/control/marcia
 
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Ryan Johnson
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Thanks everyone.

I've got my fingers crossed.

Hallmark is already in contract with Ravensburger, and previously delved into games in the 70s.
Just look them up under publishers.

I think that Hallmark could be successful. We already have massive paper and printing contracts with China, we have a massive art department that could provide art to new titles, and we have our own retail chain, no to mention large deals with major drugstore chains CVS and Walgreen. We also have our brand in Walmart.

As long as I show the marketing people that it might make them look good to propose this, and do some of the work for them... I think that there is a small chance that this could work out.

It stands to reason that most people that go into a Hallmark Gold Crown stores are in a gift giving state f mind... wether it's birthdays or holidays... Why not offer them an alternative to those Yankee Candles and disturbing Precious Moments statuettes.

Plus... I plan to get a couple pictures of the game aisles at Target and Walmart on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I know that I am always annoyed at how many people there are.
 
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
Any chance of including simple games in your pitch? Hey That's My Fish! or Diamant will be easy to teach and quick and fun to play for example.
 
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Ryan Johnson
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My pitch is going to have two fronts to it.

1. Realistic

I will indeed focus on gift-able easy games. lets face it... Die Macher is never going to show up in Hallmark.

I plan to focus on the benefits these games offer to players and parents.
I will indeed feature games such as Gulo Gulo, Diamant, Hey Thats my Fish... if nothing else I hope to convince them to partner with established Board-game publishers like Rio Grande, Kosmos, Days of Wonder... and provide increased retail space.

2. Possible

In this section of the pitch I will try to sell them the idea of changing the way that games are sold in the retail environment.

I want them to consider providing DVD tutorials for sections of games... (i.e. one DVD would be included with all the Kosmos 2 players, and would function as both instructions and catalog / advertising)
I will point to things like Board-games with Scott etc...

I will ask them to think of providing a retail DVD that runs in the area of the store that show people playing these great games... (thus providing a similar experience to that of an FLGS... without having to open all the games and own them.)

I will ask them to consider the differences between Euro consumers that purchase games like we purchase books (by Author) and American Consumers, who purchase games that have licensed characters on them.
Currently Hallmark holds many licenses...
In fact... the other day, I was playing Drive... (Crazy Chicken) and it occurred to me that if you slapped the Cars (Pixar) characters on that instead.... Americans would buy it and end up with an ok game for a change instead of a 5th version of Uno with cars on it.

I'll post a link to the proposal when its finished... which will be after the first of the year... with everyone at the end of their budgets... there just isn't any point in providing it before then.
 
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Greg Jones
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I would suggest card games as a fallback if they don't go for the full pitch. They could take up very little shelf space. Also, people coming into a card store might be in a low-budget state of mind - thinking of getting just a card and no gift. But a cheap card game might pique their interest.
 
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lisa smith
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
I would take into account the price of mass market games and focus the line to be compepetitive with that. 10-15 for kid's boardgame. 10-25 for adult word/party game. Alot of these BBG faves are twice that. People looking for a gift, in general, are not going to spend twice what they preceive as the going rate for a game, if it's not already their hobby. Comments from game store eemployees here seem to bear this out.

Focus on games with short rules first.

ALso most adults I've meet that like games outside BGG folk prefer word/party games. Alot of BGG folks think the reason euros aren't popular is that people don't know about them, but I don't find that's true. Only 25 or 30% of non euro gamers I've introduced to "gataway games" like them. So make sure you have a good mix of types of games. Euros, word, party, kids.

Licensed versions of popular euros seem like a great idea. The Harry potter version of Techno witches, Poison, kupfessel co.
 
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david landes
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Not too relevant to the discussion.... but the business case with positive dollars is ALWAYS the best pitch. You should put together as good and detailed a business case as possible and you should be aware of company expectations on ROI and whether your #s beat the average expectations for new items. You might need to sit with the Finance guys (heaven forbid) to run the numbers before you pitch the marketing guys. Show a spread of volume assumptions from the low end to the high end in terms of success to see what the ROIs look like.
 
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Ryan Johnson
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Thanks for all the advice!

Mostly I am making this mini-pitch to a group of people that I hope will explode it into a full blown mega pitch. Im an artist... so I'll leave numbers and marketing to the experts... I just have to appeal to a few and hope that they see this as a means to make them look good as well.

I plan to be the guy they all know is uber-passionate about ALL games. I want to be thier inspiration guy... I'll go to the trade shows and search out what I can.... its what I do now... Im good at it.

I believe I have a window of opportunity. With the need to change our business, Hallmark is taking risks and looking for any outlet for sucess. Our recent line of Song Cards has really hit big, so Im hoping that their minds remain open.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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You said that they previously had board games in the past correct? I haven't seen any board games being sold I think since the 80's, if even as it is before I was born. Things that you are going to need to prepare for your pitch, even it does sound like marketing, is why did they stop doing board games, why is it a good time to go into board games, and what makes now different from then? You don't want to be quickly dismissed by, been there, done that syndrom. Always think of questions they might ask of you concering what would board games would do? Would people buy them? Why do people buy certain games? What's their appeal? Is it only hard core gamers that buy it or every day people? Stats help with these things and possibly surveys in your area. Either way, good luck!
 
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Michael Jordal
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Good Luck!
 
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Matt Spence
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Have you looked at GAMES QUARTERLY Special Ed 2006
Its a whole mag on Educators & Games
The issue lists 450 games detailed for 11 major cirricula
It evens mentions PTO/PTA Games and Events
Educational is always a good angle
 
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T. Rosen
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
jadzia_dax wrote:
Alot of BGG folks think the reason euros aren't popular is that people don't know about them, but I don't find that's true.


I'm definitely one of those people that think euros would be extremely popular if more people knew about them. It's not that I think everyone in the world would enjoy Puerto Rico or Caylus, but rather that I think every home should have a copy of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne... rather than all having, and never playing, Trivial Pursuit, Scene It, and Monopoly. I've introduced the three games I mentioned to a lot of people, and have converted almost everyone. I'm honestly convinced that most families would own Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne instead of what they currently have if they knew all their options.
 
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Rob Bartel
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
Survey from June, 2006 showing that 39% of adult respondents find boardgames the most rewarding type of entertainment, followed by 29% for online games, 18% for offline digital games, 15% for TV game shows, and 3% for mobile games (on cell phones, PDAs, etc).
Link - http://news.digitaltrends.com/article10620.html

Also, look into GiftTRAP as an example of a new game that might be particularly well-suited to Hallmark.
 
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lisa smith
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
Thommy8 wrote:
jadzia_dax wrote:
Alot of BGG folks think the reason euros aren't popular is that people don't know about them, but I don't find that's true.


I'm definitely one of those people that think euros would be extremely popular if more people knew about them. It's not that I think everyone in the world would enjoy Puerto Rico or Caylus, but rather that I think every home should have a copy of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne... rather than all having, and never playing, Trivial Pursuit, Scene It, and Monopoly. I've introduced the three games I mentioned to a lot of people, and have converted almost everyone. I'm honestly convinced that most families would own Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne instead of what they currently have if they knew all their options.


Actually people I know who like word games and party games tend to not like Trivial Pursuit, Scene It, and Monopoly as those are not very good party games, they tend to prefer games involving challanging word play or anagraming skills. I've tried Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne but maybe only a third of the people liked them. (ticket to ride in particular really bombed) They all like games alot involving thinking and puzzle solving it's just for many people the kind of thinking involved in strategy games is not as interesting as the kind of thinking involved in word play.
 
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Trey Reilly
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Re: Please HELP! I need positive boardgame articles for a p
Hey Ryan -

GAMA is always happy to help out with things like this. We can give you quotes for your proposal, and we'd be willing to comp a Hallmark Buyer a ticket to GTS, so that they can check out the games and make some intelligent buying decisions.

Contact me offline, and we'll see what else we can do to help.

-Trey

Trey Reilly
Program Manager, GAMA
programs@gama.org
614-255-4500 x103
 
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