Thursday, April 8, 2010

Upper Deck Unveils 2010 Greats of the game basketball

Upper Deck Unveils 2010 Greats of the Game Basketball; First Set Devoted to College

Sports card giant teams with The Collegiate Licensing Company to deliver
nothing but net with newest basketball card release

Carlsbad, CA (April 8, 2010) - Hot on the heels of Duke's thrilling 61-59 triumph
over Butler in Monday night's NCAA(r) Men's Basketball title game, the Upper Deck
Company is proud to announce the release of its first collegiate-focused sports
trading card set: 2010 Greats of the Game Basketball. With its recently inked
exclusive contract with The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), Upper Deck pulled
out all the stops with its slam-dunk launch featuring some of the greatest
collegiate roundball stars in history.

"Our 2010 Greats of the Game Basketball release represents one of our most popular
basketball brands from years past and now it's making its return as a stand-alone
product," said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck's CLC brand manager. "It is well
positioned to thrill hoops fans with strong collegiate content featuring autographs
from the likes of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

The 200-card base set is chock full of the biggest names who have ever played
collegiate basketball, as well as a few standouts who bypassed college all together
before joining the ranks of professional basketball, and includes four 25-card
subsets spotlighting the best of the best. The four subsets include "Big Man on
Campus" featuring names such as Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston), Danny Manning (Kansas)
and Bill Laimbeer (Notre Dame); "Banner Season," which celebrates winning campaigns
posted by the likes of UNLV, Duke and UCLA; "Old School," which pays tribute to
college stars like Larry Bird (Indiana State), John Stockton (Gonzaga) and Bill
Walton (UCLA); and "Glory Days," a compilation of stellar moments coming from Alonzo
Mourning (Georgetown), Derrick Rose (Memphis) and Calbert Cheaney (Indiana). Some of
the players featured who made the leap to pro ball without ever attending college
include Moses Malone, Vlade Divac and LeBron James.

Beyond the aforementioned base-level cards, Upper Deck's Greats of the Game
Basketball brings collectors some of the most sought-after insert cards ever
assembled. The memorabilia insert card lineup is entitled "Old School Swatches" (one
per box, on average) and highlights players like George Gervin (Eastern Michigan)
and David Robinson (Navy), while the autographed inserts boast varied numbering
across an assortment of lineups including "Memorable Monikers," "School Pride" and
"Legends of the Hall." Autographed parallels of the regular base cards are also
sprinkled in with one version numbered to 199 and the other numbered to 50.

"Fans and collectors have been asking for comprehensive collegiate trading card sets
for a long time," said David Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Non-Apparel Marketing
for The Collegiate Licensing Company. "The team at Upper Deck has assembled this
tremendous collection of many of the best players in college basketball history. The
2010 Greats of the Game set is the first collective project in our new partnership.
The collegiate institutions and CLC are looking forward to working closely with
Upper Deck to maximize the tremendous opportunities that exist for licensed
collegiate trading cards."

The product, currently on store shelves, includes eight cards per pack, 16 packs per

Upper Deck Loses NFL Card License

Upper Deck announced Wednesday evening that it will no longer be licensed to produce NFL trading cards, ending weeks of speculation about what the beleaguered manufacturer’s status for the future might be.

Upper Deck spokesman Terry Melia commented on the decision via one of the company’s Twitter accounts, saying “This just in: UD was unable to come to terms with NFL Properties. No NFL Properties-licensed football cards from UD in 2010. Bummer.”

In a formal statement, Upper Deck owner Richard McWilliam said the company will instead put its focus on its exclusive with the Collegiate Licensing Company and its NHL products after the end of its 19-year run with the NFL

“Over the past year, Upper Deck has attempted to negotiate a new licensing deal with NFL Properties,” McWilliam said. “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.”

An additional Twitter comment on an Upper Deck account states that the company’s recently released Exquisite line “will be the last one for NFL for the immediate future.”

At this time last year, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company was a licensee of Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL and the exclusive licensee of NHL cards. Going forward right now, the company has just a MLB Players Association licensing agreement and the NHL, which is no longer an exclusive