PM360 recently spoke to Alex Vandevere, Associate Director, U.S. Oncology, Melanoma Marketing at Bristol Myers Squibb, about the joys of collecting trading cards and stickers.
Alex Vandevere: I started collecting when I was about 12 as a way to get closer to my heroes on the field and the brands that were influencing me at the time. I remember feeling the excitement of holding a baseball card of a star Phillies player or a sticker from my favorite soda brand, Dr. Pepper.
What kind of stickers do you collect?
All different kinds of brands, but my favorites were always from companies who I used products from. I remember writing letters (with mom’s help) to companies asking them to send me stickers, and surprisingly many would oblige. I also collected different things such as sports sticker books and even had a pretty nice beer can collection at one time with over 100 different cans. As a 12-year-old, my parents probably thought I was nuts but eventually they got me collection displays and a spot in the basement to store everything, which may have been because my room was starting to look like an episode of “Hoarders.”
How many cards and stickers do you have?
I haven’t counted but I would estimate about 700 baseball/football/hockey cards and twice as many stickers.
What’s the most prized item in your collection?
My Pete Rose 1980 Phillies World Series card is probably the most valuable, but my Reggie Jackson Yankees All-Star card has the most sentimental value. Which is ironic since I’m a lifelong Phillies fan bred to dislike the Yankees, but man that guy could hit. Another favorite item is a 1970s-era NHL Sticker book that ACME Markets used to give away. It had sticker spaces for every team’s roster. Every time you shopped, they would give you a sticker pack and I drove my mom nuts always wanting to go back food shopping so I could get more free stickers to complete every team page, which I did!
How do you typically add to your collection now?
These days I still review card values and occasionally bid on eBay for a card or two, but I’m by no means an active collector.
Are there any specific items you would like to add to your collection?
My collecting always followed my interests, so these days it’s a lot of outdoors and sporting goods brands. I’d like to add some cool stickers from ski mountains out west or beach towns down south once I start traveling again.
Do you hope to pass this along through the generations?
I shared my collection with my sons, Gabriel and Luke, when they were both in Little League. They immediately began collecting their own card catalogs but more so for football—and, of course, lots of Pokémon cards. I look forward to one day passing my collection on to my kids and grandkids, and they can add NFTs or whatever the collectables of the day are!