Well Panini has certainly found themselves at the center of the two weirdest hobby happenings in 2011.
First there was the Sam Bradford 1/1 that was sent out as a replacement, although I honestly think the weirdest part of that whole story was the original poster’s refusal to say what he sent in to get replaced, then getting pissed when people kept asking, then getting REALLY pissed when people didn’t understand why he wouldn’t just say. Naturally everyone in the Twittablogosphere clamored for an explanation from Panini and was disappointed when that explanation was basically a shrug of the shoulders by the bread company.
But I would argue that this weekend’s incident is even weirder. After doing so much to kick every other company’s ass in accessibility on Twitter and their blog, Panini went and pulled a Ron Burgundy on us. (Link NSFW unless you’re wearing headphones.)
For those who need the Cliffs Notes, Gellman of Sports Cards Uncensored gets on Panini fairly regularly for their design choices and use of non-game-used relics. So when he went after them yet again for some of these same issues in Panini’s “super premium” National Treasures, I guess someone at Panini had enough because they felt the need to get snippy via social media.
Thankfully, Gellman was kind enough to post a transcript of the Twitter transaction.
Granted, Panini is just showing frustration toward one blogger who happens to hammer them repeatedly, but how can they not be aware of the perception this is going to create among collectors?
At best it makes them look thin-skinned (“Come on, we don’t expect a good reaction from you on anything we do.”) At worst, they’re dismissive and arrogant (“Don’t think your praise is necessarily on our priority list.” And “I think we’ll be OK.”)
Now I’m not naive enough to think this little spat is going to completely undo all the goodwill that Panini has created in the hobby with The Knight’s Lance and their Twitter feeds, but it’s not helping. And it’s a classic example of how social media can bite a company in the ass if one person has a momentary lapse in judgment. Just ask Mike Wise.