Reinventing a 150-year-old industry

Changing the game


In the century and a half since the first baseball card was produced, no company had developed a trusted brand platform to serve collectors. The world of card selling, buying and trading was filled with rip-off artists and fraudulent businessmen taking advantage of a lack of technology and proven auditing systems.


How to reconstruct a 20-year-old company and modernize all their resources, services, brand systems, marketing materials and digital touch-points while taking massive market share from their largest card-grading competition, and establishing a strategy to realize its brand ambitions of better engaging collectors and users in a fun and youthful way.


Our strategy was to align SGC’s brand with its technology and business strategy, and deliver a refresh, trusted platform. By showcasing their unique artificial intelligence technology, first-ever card registries, powerful grading systems, innovative shipping containers and recognized displays, SGC was poised for a complete re-positioning effort. We raised the awareness and reinvented their approach to card storing and card-grading education across digital and traditional mechanisms.

Brand Positioning

Since the late 1990s, hobby retail shops and trade-show dealers found their card-collecting customer base in decline, with their buyers now having access to more items and better prices on the internet. Collectors and dealers began purchasing computers and trusting the internet as a “safe” venue to buy and sell. The transformation from traditional retail shops and shows to internet transactions changed the nature of the hobby. To stay on top of the trends in this space, we developed a system that would be scalable, spirited and fresh, allowing SGC to compete at the highest level and remain top of mind.

Color Theory

With new and improved hand-drawn logos, multiple sub-division icons and the appearance of a lifestyle company, we chose three distinct color ranges to represent their high standards, trust and authenticity. The purple had a royal flair — black for modern professionalism and gold to represent the highest standard in the card-grading industry.

Agile Naming Strategy

Since their acronym is SGC and the company name originally stood for Sportscard Guaranty, we needed to enhance the various meanings in different marketing arenas. By designing a naming system, we were able to help with the brand essence and clarify what they bring to the community. One example was using the letters SGC to represent Stack, Guard and Collect. A much more fun usage for their fan base.

Custom Iconography

With SGC being involved in so much more than just baseball, basketball and football, the objective was to demonstrate, in an enjoyable manner, all the other ancillary categories they service, including social, hockey, autographs and apparel.

New Lifestyle Culture

In order to capture a younger audience, we placed an emphasis on using the power of trendy apparel, wearables, new technology and social media. At trade shows, the audience was typically middle-aged and older. Re-positioning a market segment would be a (much needed) game disrupter, and was a very important portion of the overall project.

20 Years Brand

To celebrate and highlight the company’s 20-year existence, we developed a sub-brand that brought immediate credibility to the SGC brand while aiding with creative campaigns.

Brand Support

How a consumer engages with a brand can make or break ongoing loyalty and continued relationships. In order to augment the experience of working with SGC, our team developed new certificates, seals, shipping containers and brand materials for the collector to store and maintain.

Each printed project was supervised and reviewed with laser-focus detail to ensure every inch of the supporting resources were pristine.

Enhanced Brand Experience

The goal of all the SGC digital and traditional resources was to convey the SGC experience and foster more engagement with, and excitement for, their brand. It was important for our team that all the various solutions were credible and simple for both consumers and internal staff to use with minimal explanation, but powerful enough to offer advanced functionality for connection and involvement.

Digital Experience

The new mobile-friendly website provided a strategy for SGC to genuinely connect with their customers. The overall structure of the SGC e-commerce platform was a challenging consideration, upon which a majority of the site’s success depended.

As we approached the redesign, we focused on the user and created an online experience that streamlined the path from education to purchase, doing so in a way which influenced and encouraged their core consumer across many channels.

The corporate site was reconditioned with multiple sub-brands such as C.A.A.R.D. This dramatically helped since now they could demonstrate a variety of services that their competitors did not offer. This included an auction block eBay-style process, which end users immediately resonated toward.

The guided navigation methodology provided multiple roads to purchase, allowing collectors to browse, sell, buy and trade per category and across categories. We also combined brand storytelling with content and commerce, featuring lifestyle videos and photography that bring the site to life.

Digital Marketing Strategy

In order to enhance the experience of our digital marketing campaigns and give individuals the social proof they are seeking, we blended behind the scenes action and testimonials to improve the overall social media component. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and with SGC’s rising digital presence, the integration of the lifestyle was an important inclusion within our design.

Tradeshow Experience

We constructed a flexible, mobile presentation system to align with an overall free-flowing visual system that communicates SGC’s brand personality. The OGK team concentrated on the best design elements of their services, showcasing with precision the way in which they create a better user experience for their clientele.

Technology Teaser

One of the various ways we wanted to separate SGC from all the competitors was showcasing the artificial intelligence technology they offer. We used scanned video effects to demonstrate how a baseball card would be analyzed, imprinted, stored and maintained in the SGC achieve system. SGC is the first company to utilize this type of technology in the card-grading industry.

Supporting Collateral

The card-grading industry is a very competitive business environment, so it is crucial for SGC to communicate their key message points in a consistent and creative manner. Part of their success came from how well they communicated their key information to their multiple internal and external audiences. OGK produced quality pieces of online and printed marketing collateral to set their organization apart from their competitors.

We partner with brands of all sizes at every stage of their journey.