An E-Mail From Upper Deck

This evening I received an e-mail from Upper Deck that stated the following:

Just a quick heads up, but UD was unable to renew its football card license with NFL Properties for the 2010 NFL season.

A formal press release will be forthcoming from the NFL, but just wanted you to know about it.

And just in case you’re looking for a statement from UD, here’s a quote that you can attribute to Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck’s CEO and Founder:

“Over the past year, Upper Deck has attempted to negotiate a new licensing deal with NFL Properties. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were not able to reach agreeable terms, and therefore will not be issuing any NFL Properties-licensed trading cards for the 2010 season. Upper Deck will continue to focus on its exclusive license agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company and co-exclusive agreements with NHL Enterprises and the NHL Players’ Association, as well as its multiple entertainment licenses.”

I really don’t know what to say.  In my opinion, Upper Deck created some of the best high-end football card products The Hobby has ever seen.  I am a huge fan of ’09 Ultimate Collection Football this year.  From the e-mail I received, it sounds like they plan on concentrating their efforts more on their college football and hockey card products.  Its just not going to be the same without products like Ultimate Collection and Exquisite hitting the market.  I am looking forward to seeing what their high-end NCAA products will look like.  2010 NCAA Sweet Spot looks great and it will be exciting to see what else they can come up with.  It just won’t seem the same without Upper Deck producing NFL products.  ’09 Exquisite will be the last NFL product made by Upper Deck for awhile.  When will these people learn!!!!  The collectors will tell you who made the best products.  Why don’t these organizations listen to collectors when it comes to licenses?

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Maybe TK Legacy Should Get An Exclusive License

I think we can all agree that 2009 could be considered “The Year of the License” within this great hobby of ours.  With Upper Deck and Panini having a license to make NFL cards and UD having an exclusive license to make college football cards, some companies are going to be left out in the cold.  One company in particular that won’t be making college cards is TK Legacy.  You don’t hear a lot about TK Legacy, but they do seem to have quite the following online.  I couldn’t believe when I saw this completed auction for one of their Troy Smith autographs limited to only 10 copies.  Smith hasn’t had the best NFL career since he was a rookie back in 2007, but that doesn’t seem to matter for some of his fans.  Autographed cards of his numbered to 10 haven’t sold for that much in a long time.  Not even cards made by Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss/Playoff, Press Pass, or SA-GE have come close to that kind of money.  Perhaps the exclusive college license should have been given TK Legacy based on the sale of their cards.

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Let Me Get This Straight

The NBA wants to give a trading card license to a company that makes these?  

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Good luck fitting that into a foil pack!

Yesturday’s Hobby Events

Thats the last time I do my math homework (ok maybe not)!  Late yesturday evening after finishing many hours of homework, I finally got to sit down and see what was going on within our great hobby.  To my surprise I found that there were two major events that had taken place right under my nose: (1) Upper Deck and Topps don’t get their license to create basketball cards and (2) Donruss / Playoff gets sued by MLB.

First off, I would like to address the issue between Donruss / Playoff and MLB.  Major League Baseball has decided to sue Donruss over their production of baseball cards.  Since Donruss doesn’t have a license they can’t use the logos from any baseball teams on their products.  Donruss thought they could get around this by “photoshopping” the logo off the player’s uniform.  This is a great idea, because it would allow Donruss, which is one of my favorite card manufacturers, to enter back into the baseball card market.  When Donruss Threads first came out, I started looking at the cards and could clearly make out the logos that were on the player’s uniform.  Even if Donruss did “white out” part of the logo, it didn’t take a damn Einstein to figure out what team logo was there.  I had a strong feeling from the beginning that this was going to happen, but I just didn’t know when.  I hope Donruss / Playoff gets out of this mess safetly, because I really enjoy their products more than any other card company.

The other major issue that I would like to talk about is the fact that both Topps and Upper Deck no longer can create basketball cards since neither one of them was able or wanted to keep their license.  Yesturday the NBA annouced that they have entered into an agreement with The Panini Company to make basketball cards.  When I read this, I thought to myself, The Panini Company?  I love Paninis, they taste real good when you pop them in the microwave for about three minutes 🙂  The Panini Company is mainly over in Europe and makes packets of cards.  They do a lot with card games and stickers for various collectible activities.  The Panini Company hasn’t had a huge part in American culture until now.  I think it will be interesting to see what The Panini Company can do with the basketball card market.  Maybe we’ll see autographed stickers, or even stickers that contain a relic.  I can’t wait to see an on-card autographed sticker (doesn’t that sound weird?).  I wonder how stickers will hold-up against counterfeiters?  I guess time will tell.