In this new series, titled In the Neutral Zone, we talk to key figures in our industry in an attempt to get to know the people in our community. We hope you enjoy it.
Our first instalment of In the Neutral Zone features a good friend of mine...he is also the President of The Upper Deck Company, Jason Masherah. Jason is, in my opinion, one of the most capable, innovative and passionate individuals in the industry. If you have the opportunity to attend the CDD Conference in Orlando in 2018, make sure to request an introduction, you will be glad you did.
Q: What is on your desk this week/month?
- Mostly boring paperwork. The one exciting item is the itinerary for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. It is hard to believe this will be our 9th Showcase since we worked with the NHLPA to create this event.
Q: What is something you wrestle with regularly?
- The biggest item that I wrestle with is how to grow and gain more visibility for the trading card industry. Tim Horton’s has been a great partner in executing an A+ trading card promotion and we also executed a great program with Wal-Mart and Hanes around Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Programs like these get packs of cards into people’s hands to introduce them to the category or remind them how fun our hobby is.
Q: What's something most people don't know about you?
- I went to the same high school and university as Justin Abdelkader but have yet to meet him. I need to work on that.
Q: What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?
- To keep a positive attitude. Our attitudes are contagious. Each of us come in contact with numerous people throughout a day and we all have the opportunity to either brighten or ruin someone’s day. Sharing a compliment, a smile or a laugh goes a long way.
Q: What would you be doing if you were not at your current job?
- It is hard for me to imagine doing anything else but if I didn’t work for Upper Deck, I would probably go to work for a sports team, property or league like my hometown Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Lions or Michigan State University. Of course in my free time, I’d be collecting trading cards, comics and doing a lot more gaming than I do now.