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Has your teen been suspiciously absent lately?

Well, we have two theories as to where they’ve gone.

One: they’re late-night clubbing with the likes of Post Malone.

Two: they’re holed up in your basement, playing MLB The Show, which was recently made available on Xbox for the first time. Truth be told, the game is pretty incredible, but the biggest draw isn’t baseball.

It’s actually the same marketing magnet that has drawn fans to the diamond for generations: collecting.

If you haven’t personally experienced the excitement of landing a 99 deGrom and getting him “parallel 5” (a real thing people do and say), here’s a play-by-play:

Gamers earn a variety of collectible cards by competing in special game modes. Standard packs, super-special packs, and the coveted individual cards of legendary ballers are all up for grabs.

They then build a team from their cards and compete—either to add new cards to their portfolio, or to level up existing cards to become better players on the field (er… screen).

So, how the heck does this virtual diamond translate to your precious ads? Marketers who recognize our innate cravings for curation can reap big benefits. It’s an easy-to-repeat plan that still allows for a sick curveball or two.

Because as humans, we really love to collect things. Whether for comfort, clout, or self expression, we love stuff that’s ours (especially when it’s cooler than other people’s).  

Trust us, this won’t banish you to right field. We’re pretty sure anyone over the age of 35 can relate to begging our parents for a McDonald’s detour during their Monopoly campaign (some people even got a side of prison).

And we’re relatively certain many millennials are still catching their breath after that Pokémon Go craze got them to venture outside for a chance to “catch ’em all.”

So, play off this most human instinct to hunt and gather by running limited-time-only, in-store activations. Offer gotta-have-it rewards for repeat customers. Sell Tony Hawk’s blood. And whenever possible, incorporate rising superstars into your marketing. (Hey, we’ve been there!)

Because touting some original, one-of-a-kind collectibles or experiences could spark a stadium-sized impact on your bottom line.

Have a home-run weekend everybody!

—Your always-ready-to-go-to-bat friends at Brokaw

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