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  #1  
Old 02-05-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Marc S.

Well -- some of us would prefer they would just quietly go away....but oh, well.



New Owners, New Boss for GAI



Monday, 04 February 2008
Once homeless Global Authentication is hoping to pull off the comeback story of 2008 and has hired a hobby veteran to direct it.
It didn't look good for Global Authentication last fall.

The company was evicted from its southern California offices after a disagreement with its landlord over lease terms. Reports of posted eviction notices, evidence of a hasty departure and little public communication from those in charge led to speculation that the long-time sports card and autograph authenticator was about to fold.

However, Global continued to operate while seeking a new investor with the management skills to not only keep the firm in business but turn its fortunes around. Late last week, GAI quietly announced that Ault Glazer & Co, a diversified holding company that already owned a stake in GAI had acquired a majority interest by purchasing a larger block of shares.

Bill Dully has already taken over as GAI's Chief Executive Officer. Dully brings 22 years of sports card and memorabilia industry experience to his new job, having spent over nine years in major management roles with Upper Deck and Upper Deck Authenticated and three more years as President of Donruss Trading Cards, a stint that ended in 2006.

"I am excited about the opportunity to combine my past experience with the Global Authentication Holdings brand name, and helping build the number one grading and authenticating business in the country," Dully said.

Dully believes GAI built a strong foundation in the hobby but lacked central leadership which led to problems. "I've talked with a lot of people in the industry who liked what we did but they said 'you have to learn to get out of your own way'. We weren't operating correctly but fortunately, no real damage was done to the brand."

The 44 year-old Dully has spent much of his professional career attempting to improve corporate bottom llines. "I've gone into places that were $13 to 33 million in debt and within three or four years corrected the balance sheet," he said.

Global's forced move late last year triggered an onslaught of questions from its once-loyal customers and others in the industry. Dully told Sports Collectors Daily his first priority was simply to let the collecting community know GAI was in business. The company has over 10,000 customer names on file and has employed four staff members to personally contact as many as possible.

"I have four guys each making about 120 phone calls per day," Dully said. "We also invited a lot of big players in the industry to see us and they're coming away with a good feelling. They're giving us work." Dully said GAI has been improving its turnaround times to get orders back to customers in a more consistent fashion.

"It's still a great brand name and we have great people here. Mike Baker is the most elite card grader in the industry. He's been with us for six years and has graded 48 of the top 50 trading cards of all time." Steven Rochhi and Steve Snipe round out the management team that remains employed by the San Clemente, California-based firm.

GAI disappeared from the show circuit during the latter half of 2007 but will have a presence at the upcoming Tri Star Productions show in San Francisco, attend another in White Plains, New York and set up at the Eastern Pennsylvania Sports Collectors Club show in Reading, Pennyslvania.

Dully was asked how GAI can repair the damage that may have been done to its reputation in the last several months.

"One card at a time," he said. "It sounds trite but it's really a powerful philosophy. Let me do it faster and better. If people give us a chance we think we'll earn their trust."

Dully also hinted that consolidation may be coming to some of the more familiar companies in the sports card and memorabilia hobby with larger businesses possibly swallowing up smaller but still effective companies.

"When I started with Upper Deck there were six major trading card companies. Now there are three. You couldn't have predicted that back then. I think it's very possible there will be some amazing changes and alliances on the horizon."

Ault Glazer CEO James Hodgins said he believes Global now has the tools needed for profitable growth and expansion. Dully and Hodgins say GAI will expand the company's business model on many fronts including new products and markets. Some of those announcements are expected to be released within the next month.

Ault Glazer & Co., Inc. has thirteen other companies in its porfolio and is involved in merchant banking, corporate lending, shareholder activism, real estate, healthcare, energy, consumer products & services, insurance and media.


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  #2  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:10 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Dave S

I wish them the Best of Luck..
But my cards still going to Parsippany!!

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  #3  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:10 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Shawn Chambers

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,

Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how yould cou leave and not take me.

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  #4  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:10 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Jim VB

<<When I started with Upper Deck there were six major trading card companies. Now there are three. You couldn't have predicted that back then.>>


Couldn't have predicted that???? Who's he trying to kid? I don't know of anyone who thought all of those card manufacturers of the late 80's and early 90's would make it.



I heard that step #1 of their new strategy is:

1.) Open on Monday!

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  #5  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:16 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Fred C

I wonder if they're still going to use that cheezey Walmart packaging? If that didn't kill the brand last time, it sure might this second time around.

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  #6  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:27 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: davidcycleback

If they use .6 grades, they'll already be one ahead of PSA.

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  #7  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:27 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Cobby33

I don't mind this.
With PSA's sucky customer "service," (finding something wrong with every single order and taking 5 times the length of time than promised to complete orders)- maybe it's time another company be given the chance to compete.

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  #8  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:30 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Jeff Lichtman

GAI will not be competing with SGC or PSA for a long time. This is a case of throwing good money after bad. Who would ever send them their cards knowing that a GAI 7 is worth a PSA 6? Or less?

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  #9  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:34 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: barrysloate

This is just a lot of PR drivel.

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  #10  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:37 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Todd Schultz

I'd like to see them make it, but man, that hole they dug is SOOOOOOOO deep.

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  #11  
Old 02-05-2008, 04:41 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Larry

I left many messages for GAI during these trying times for them, all with support and hope they get back on their feet however I am amazed how I was never contacted back by anyone there. I will always have fond memories of the guys in their heydey at shows.

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  #12  
Old 02-05-2008, 04:48 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Bryan Long

I am sure of that - but it is along road ahead. A long road. Marketing, customer service and ultimately, they need their cards to sell for more or equal to their competition - I don't know how you do that one.

.

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  #13  
Old 02-05-2008, 06:40 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Richard Dwyer

Correct me if I'm wrong, but GAI is the only grading company that does Cigarette Packs, and many other memorabilia that the others don't. They grade non-sports cards, unopened packs, boxes, etc. They also do autographs and many other things.

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  #14  
Old 02-05-2008, 07:11 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: jay wolt

Richard - yes they will slab just about anything
But sometimes the unslabbed piece presents better then the slabbed one.

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  #15  
Old 02-05-2008, 07:16 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Richard Dwyer

Jay:

I agree with you on that one. That looks horrific. I'm sure they would re-slab it better at no cost to you. Wouldn't hurt to ask.

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  #16  
Old 02-05-2008, 07:28 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Sean C

calling customers trying to drum up submissions, it's time to give up the ghost.

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  #17  
Old 02-05-2008, 09:22 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Frank Evanov

There is no quick fix for their problems, nor is there a long term one. No one with any sense would buy their product or send them subs.

Frank

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  #18  
Old 02-05-2008, 10:18 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Brian Martin

<Ault Glazer & Co, a diversified holding company that already owned a stake in GAI had acquired a majority <interest by purchasing a larger block of shares.

What is a share of GAI stock worth these days?

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  #19  
Old 02-05-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: JimB

If they really want to make a go of it, they should change the name and start over. But it is probably too late for that too. But I think the GAI name is tainted after the episode last Fall.
jimB

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  #20  
Old 02-06-2008, 05:33 AM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: davidcycleback

They might have a better chance if they start with autographs and game used, as grading isn't a part of that. Cards are so much about grades, and number comparisons with other companies-- hard nut for an outsider to crack. GAI was once considered very reputable in autographs and did a lot of business there.

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  #21  
Old 02-06-2008, 05:55 AM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Sean C

Not sure what the answer is, but when Ault was known as Remington-Hall Capital, Ault Glazer was trading on the pink sheets:

http://ca.biz.yahoo.com/bw/071213/20071213005977.html?.v=1

Looks like they still are:

http://finance.google.com/finance?q=PINK:REMH


===========================
Brian Martin
(Login brian1martin) good one February 5 2008, 1:18 AM


<Ault Glazer & Co, a diversified holding company that already owned a stake in GAI had acquired a majority <interest by purchasing a larger block of shares.

What is a share of GAI stock worth these days?
============================

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  #22  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:58 AM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: brian

Sean, thanks for the info on Ault Glazer

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  #23  
Old 02-06-2008, 11:13 AM
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Posted By: Bob

I think Jim has an excellent point. I think GAI needs to drop the name and re-start from scratch with a new grading service and a different name. GAI's name has become tainted. I say that with much regret as I have many slabbed GAI cards, although the number will steadily decrease as I begin crossing over many of them to SGC.

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  #24  
Old 02-16-2008, 03:07 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Kevin Saucier

Although I’m not a big player in the industry, I was invited down to Global. I took off work on Feb 6th and spent much of the day there.

I met with the Bill Dully and was impressed to find out he was the innovator behind UD Sweet Spots, SP Authenticated and Donruss Prime Cuts and Timeless Treasures. In the modern world these are big products. I can only guess that good ideas that were never launched now have a chance….we shall see.

Seems Wednesday was my Monday! Spent time with Baker who wanted to follow-through on an old idea, plus get my cards that were held up in the move. To my surprise everything was there, all my cards were graded and returned (in hand) that day and the old idea took a huge step forward.

I decided to test the system, giving them a somewhat scarce 66 card 1984 Topps encapsulated proof set, tough to find as a complete single-card set. These are hand cut from a sheet and PSA won’t grade them so it was perfect for GAI. They stated it would be completed within 10 days. "Yeah right" that has yet to happen...ever.

Grades popped today 2/15. It may just be a miracle.

*On a side note, many of the top cards received 9’s and 9.5’s (Ryan, Trillo) with an overall score of about 8.7. For some reason I had confidence in my trimming ability.

Not sure how to describe it, other than there seems to be a new vibe there that was previously lacking.


Kevin Saucier

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Old 02-16-2008, 03:31 PM
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Posted By: JimCrandell

Sounds good Kevin--I wish them the best.

Kevin--what doew Mike say about those 55 Bowmans that seemingly slipped by him?

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  #26  
Old 02-16-2008, 04:24 PM
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Posted By: dan mckee

I have never heard of Bill Dully and I see why by looking at the resume. 22 years of SHINY STUFF. I wish him and the GAI team well but this all reeks of shiny stuff. Not my interest. Why not higher a veteran that knows pre-war? One that could actually identify any issue that came in blindly. I guess that doesn't make sense.

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  #27  
Old 02-16-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default GAI's comeback "strategy"

Posted By: Anonymous

"We weren't operating correctly but fortunately, no real damage was done to the brand."

OK.

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