How Topps is re-imagining baseball cards with Dropbox

Photo of two Topps employees looking at the Dropbox website on a computer screen

Baseball cards are timeless. In 1952, Topps started selling cards, along with chewing gum. 65 years later, they’re still the market leader for collectibles from one of America’s greatest pastimes.

Times have also changed. Not as many people are using shoeboxes to store cards of their favorite players. The Topps team realizes this. They’re searching for the right balance between nostalgia for their physical cards and the need to move forward in the digital age.

“We had new ideas of what collecting a baseball card means,” says Chris Vaccaro, editor-in-chief and director of live operations at Topps. “And a big part of that was modernizing the way Topps itself works.”

Dropbox has helped Topps develop their digital collectible platform, which today includes not only Major League Baseball but also the NFL, NHL, WWE, UFC, MLS, Premier League, and even Star Wars and The Walking Dead. “We’ve been working with Dropbox since the early days of our division’s start,” says Deniz Gezgin, VP/GM of Digital at Topps. “It’s helped us with operational efficiencies and getting newer products in the hands of our fans.” Over the last five years, customers have “opened” more than one billion digital card packages.

Instant gratification

Through Topps’ mobile apps, fans can collect and trade new cards, which in many cases are created within 24 hours of the action taking place in a game.

To bring this to life, art staff and designers collaborate on Photoshop and InDesign files through their Dropbox Business account. The Topps offices function like a newsroom. When Aaron Judge hits a game-winning home run for the Yankees, for instance, everyone immediately goes into Dropbox to get the creative process going.

One for the road

Topps’ creative ideas also flow beyond the “newsroom.” They turned to Dropbox in part because employees found it easier to access when working remotely. “Many folks on our team travel a bit, or commute great distances to get to the office, so we treat Dropbox on our phones and laptops as our lifeline,” says Vaccaro. Members of the Topps team could be meeting with MLB or Lucasfilm, and pull up assets and presentations that live in Dropbox from their phones, he says.

Leveraging the latest

Topps has also embraced some of Dropbox’s newer tools. “I love Smart Sync,” says Corey Futterman, designer. “It lets me sync only what I need locally and makes my life so much easier when working with other designers and licensors.” Topps is also starting to work Dropbox Paper into their process. “Paper is really intuitive and we love how clean it is for showing off designs,” Vaccaro says. “We envision it will help speed up approvals.”

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With Dropbox, Topps is re-imagining the way they work and interact with their fans. “We’ve always been a pioneer in the card industry, and we think of ourselves in the same way in the digital space,” says Vaccaro. “Thankfully, we pretty much have three words internally that keep us creating great work: ‘It’s on Dropbox.’”

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