How to Get Custom Player Trading Cards
July 23, 2012
Custom player trading cards are awesome to have. There are many benefits for having them, but the effort to get them printed is often overwhelming for a busy coach.
First off, the benefits. Custom trading cards are fantastic for many reasons:
- Raising awareness for the team
- Raising awareness for specific games (or the team’s schedule)
- Boosting player confidence by providing something outside of skill to be proud of
- Providing keepsake memories
- Offering a fun way to connect players and foster communication through trading
Often the cards are requested by families and friends of players or are used as a way to distribute the team’s schedule by printing it on the back of each player card.
Regardless of the use of the cards, sports player trading cards are a great way to get people excited.
As a coach, I understand how complicated this process is to get cards of your own, so here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get them.
Pick a player card layout
This part of the process is actually very fun. You can pick through many different layout types and colors. After you know which layout you want, you can choose what type of photo to include on the cards. Don’t forget to choose a layout that offers the detail slots that you’ll want added to the card (see diagram at left).
Pick a photo type
I recommend choosing whether your cards will simply feature the face of the player on the front, or a full body shot, or an action shot. This way, all cards will look more uniform and it will be much easier to organize all the photos you have after the photo shoot (example layouts at the bottom of the page)
Schedule a photo shoot
Get the players in uniform if possible and get them excited about having their own trading cards — the cards can obviously be distributed to fans, families or even used as schedule cards by putting the schedule on the back. This process is fairly easy since a coach or parent probably has a high-quality digital camera. Try to take photos of a higher quality and make sure that the players don’t have their back to the sun for the best printing potential.
Choose the best player photos
Go through and choose the digital photos that you want for each player. Depending on which print shop you use, you may need to crop the photos and update them yourself (ask the printer).
Compile the information into an Excel spreadsheet or Word document
Make sure to include all the details for the card layout that you picked (such as player number, name, position, stats, etc) for each player. Also include the filename for each player photo so the designers can match up the photo file to the proper details. When you get them printed, choose a design/print service that can clean up the photos and crop them for you (some services will offer this, others you will have to crop and adjust yourselves)
Organize the digital assets folder
Put the information document and player photos into a folder. Use a compression utility to “zip” the entire folder for easy transfer and to make the file sizes smaller. On a Microsoft Windows computer, this is as easy as right clicking on the folder and choosing the zip option. It will created the “zipped” folder for you. Then you’ll have all the assets ready to deliver to the designer for production.
Approve the Proofs
The best player card services offer a proof by email, so you can approve the cards and their details before they are printed.
Distribute the Cards
Soon, your cards will arrive in the mail (usually 2 weeks from start to finish) and you can distribute them. Handing out cards is usually a great opportunity to build excitement. Many teams give them to player’s just before the pep rally so they can hand them out all day before hand. How you distribute your cards is up to you.
Ordering and Pricing
If you’re ready to print your own cards, GameCoaches.com offers a premium printing service for your convenience.
Just email me nick [-at] gamecoaches.com with quantities and which layout you want printed (see layouts below).
For pricing, individual player cards are more expensive than printing for an entire team due to the GameCoaches.com discount structure. The pricing for two-sided premium quality printing typically ranges like this:
1 player – 24 cards = $100
15 players – 24 cards per player = $550
Obviously the more cards that are printed, the less the cost will be.
If you’re ready to move forward, send me an email with your details and I’ll provide a quote for you to decide. GameCoaches.com’s design team will handle all the image manipulation, file transfer details, and will also provide an email proof before it goes to print.
If you want to order now, we have a package deal ready to go. For $499, we will print 24 custom cards for 15 players. You provide the layout choice, player details, and photos — and we will crop the photos, optimize the colors, add the details, and frame everything up before printing. The items will be shipped to your door (free shipping). The whole process usually takes two weeks after we receive all the media.
Use this PayPal link to order and after we receive confirmation, we’ll email you the starter packet so that you can get started right away. The secure e-commerce checkout is managed by our website provider RWC Stores and PayPal.
I’m masking the email so that spam bots don’t get it — here it is again: football [-at-] gamecoaches.com.
You can also just reply to the newsletter and it will go to the same place.
Player Trading Card Layouts