Saturday, February 13, 2010

2009 SP Authentic Football is Live!

Sports card leader unveils latest gridiron collection;

once again, autographs are all hard-signed on cards!

Carlsbad, CA (February 12, 2010) – Just one week after the New Orleans Saints upset the favored Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV, the Upper Deck Company is launching its latest gridiron card set: 2009 SP Authentic Football. Chock full of autographed memorabilia cards (one per hobby box), SP Authentic kicks off today in hobby shops across the nation.

“Football card collectors look forward to Upper Deck’s SP Authentic release every year,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s Football brand manager. “As always, what’s extremely cool about SPA is that every autographed card is hard-signed. And the SP Authentic Dynasties cards include autographed manufactured patches featuring some of the game’s greatest juggernauts like the Packers of the ‘60s, Steelers of the ‘70s, Niners of the ‘80s and Cowboys of the ‘90s!”

At just over 400 cards, easily the largest SP Authentic regular set ever produced by Upper Deck, this year’s release boasts all the bells and whistles that hard-core football fans crave. The autographed card lineup includes: “Rookie Authentics Patch” cards (numbered to 999 or less including Matthew Stafford, Percy Harvin and Mark Sanchez); “Rookie Authentics Patch Parallel” cards (numbered to 25 including Knowshon Moreno, Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin); and super-rare “Rookie Authentics Patch NFL Logo Parallel” 1-of-1 cards from the likes of Stafford, Sanchez, Maclin and more). In addition, collectors can expect to pull one autographed memorabilia card and two more autographed cards per every hobby box, on average.

Beyond its top-flight assortment of star rookies from the 2009 NFL campaign, SP Authentic also pays homage to some of the game’s greatest players by including them in such sought-after autographed inserts as “SP Immortal Signatures” (numbered to 25) including Hall-of-Famers like Franco Harris, Barry Sanders, Terry Bradshaw and Steve Young; and SP “Immortal Quad Signatures” (numbered to five) paying homage to standout receivers like Steve Largent, Jerry Rice, Fred Biletnikoff and Don Maynard all on one card!

Upper Deck’s 2009 SP Authentic Football (five cards per pack, 24 packs per hobby box) is currently on store shelves.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Topps Appoints TV Guide’s Ryan O’Hara as CEO

Topps Appoints TV Guide’s Ryan O’Hara as CEO
Leadership Experience in Media, Sports and Confections Key for Evolving Topps Company

February 09, 2010 03:09 PM Eastern Time
NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Topps Company, the leading creator and marketer of sports cards, entertainment products and distinctive confectionery items for over half a century, today announced the appointment of Ryan O’Hara as president and chief executive officer. O’Hara, the president of TV Guide Network and, will assume the new role on March 1.

“We are extremely grateful for his outstanding leadership having successfully helped steer the company through the recent recession that proved so challenging for many companies. Topps has rebounded very strongly under Scott, and we appreciate his contributions.”
.“Ryan is an outstanding leader with a strong track record in media, sports, entertainment and confections,” said Michael D. Eisner, Chairman of Topps, who purchased the company with Madison Dearborn Partners in 2007. “That unique combination will help him drive growth in media and with interactive initiatives as well as continue to strengthen Topps’ core businesses. Ryan’s appointment will help Topps capture a greater share of consumers’ leisure time.”

“I am thrilled to take on this new role,” said O’Hara. “The ability to work with Michael Eisner and Madison Dearborn Partners on the evolution of Topps makes this an incredibly exciting opportunity. No brand had more of an impact on me when I was a kid than Topps, and I look forward to working with the entire Topps team to strengthen and grow this iconic company.”

O’Hara has led TV Guide’s business and growth strategy, overseeing all functional areas from programming to distribution to advertising sales. Under O’Hara’s leadership, TV Guide Network has become one of the most widely distributed cable networks reaching over 80 million households, and has grown to 20 million monthly unique visitors. O’Hara previously led TV Guide-owned interactive horseracing network TVG, growing its revenue and distribution by a third.

Broadcasting & Cable magazine has called O’Hara “the consummate media executive,” pointing out that he has had “experience abroad, leadership roles in both programming and distribution, and a demonstrated devotion to both traditional and new media.”

Prior to TV Guide, O’Hara had experience across sports, confections and international – three key areas of Topps’ business – having served in various positions at BSkyB in London, Fox Sports Net and Nestle USA.

O’Hara, who has been based in Los Angeles, will relocate to New York with his wife, Victoria, and their twins.

Departing CEO Scott Silverstein, who remains on the Board, has led Topps since Eisner and Madison Dearborn Partners purchased the company in October 2007. “Scott has served The Topps Company tirelessly since joining as general counsel in 1993,” Eisner said. “We are extremely grateful for his outstanding leadership having successfully helped steer the company through the recent recession that proved so challenging for many companies. Topps has rebounded very strongly under Scott, and we appreciate his contributions.”