The Beckett Blog

Upper Deck scraps 2010 Ultimate Collection Football; ups ante in 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck released a pair of statements to distributors about two forthcoming products on Monday, with one product getting the red light and the other one getting a green light for some higher-end autograph additions.

First, the company has decided to scrap its plans for a 2010 Ultimate Collection Football set, which would have been a college release under its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. The company cited the present state of the industry, which is crowded with many slow-moving, perhaps overproduced products at this time.

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Collegiate Licensing Company official clarifies contract details by Chris Olds

A Collegiate Licensing Company official has clarified the details of the company’s deal with Upper Deck in the wake of Panini America‘s announcement of a CLC-approved baseball card set arriving in September.

Panini unveiled plans for its 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition set on Friday, which seemed to fly against the previously announced CLC exclusive signed with Upper Deck last year.

Despite the deal, the Panini set is fully authorized by the CLC.


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First look: 2010 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection basketball cards by Chris Olds

Upper Deck may be done producing NBA-licensed basketball cards, but it’s not done trying to put high-end basketball cards into the hands of collectors.

On Wednesday, the company revealed the basic product information and a package of preview images for its upcoming 2010 Ultimate Collection basketball card set, a Collegiate Licensing Company-approved product that packs an autographed card in every four-card pack.

The standard set consists of 60 base cards and 20 Rookie Signature Redemptions, but the real highlight in the product just might be the 1997 Legends autographs — which brings the look of the landmark football set to the hardwood.

Also to be found among the autograph lineup when Ultimate Collection arrives in May are Personal Touch Inscriptions (where players write answers to questions about their lives alongside their autographs) as well as All- Time Team Signatures and  All-Time Draft Signatures among others.

The Legends autographs will be signed directly on the cards and the checklist is set to include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill  Walton, Jerry West and Yao Ming among others.

See more from the set after the jump.

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Exclusive Interview: The Collegiate Licensing Company’s David Kirkpatrick by Tracy Hackler

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In a year marked by seemingly one exclusive agreement after another (see Panini and the NBA, Topps and Major League Baseball), it was perhaps the Collegiate Licensing Company’s announcement last month that it had struck a multiyear pact with Upper Deck that created the biggest stir.

After all, while the other deals were absolutely major in scope, they affected fewer companies – the NBA impacted Panini, Topps and Upper Deck, the MLB deal affected Topps and UD.

The CLC bombshell potentially influences every company that includes collegiate photography in their sets, such as Panini, Press Pass, SAGE, Topps and Upper Deck.

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It’s Official: CLC, Upper Deck Announce Multi-Year Exclusive by Tracy Hackler


As first reported by Beckett Media, the Collegiate Licensing Company officially announced Thursday morning that it has reached an exclusive multiyear agreement with Upper Deck.

The agreement, which goes into effect April 1, 2010,  gives Upper Deck exclusive rights in the trading card category to the team and word marks for more than 200 collegiate institutions.

“We believe that there are many opportunities in the college trading card category that have not been fully realized, and Upper Deck shares our vision for expansion,” said David Kirkpatrick, CLC’s Vice President of Non-Apparel Marketing. “We are confident that fans will embrace this strategy, which will place a renewed focus on collegiate accomplishments in addition to a student-athlete’s post-collegiate potential.”

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CLC, Upper Deck to Announce Exclusive Agreement by Tracy Hackler


According to a sports collectibles industry source close to the situation, The Collegiate Licensing Company today is expected to announce that it has reached an exclusive multi-year trading card agreement with Upper Deck.

CLC, based in Atlanta and owned by IMG, manages the licensing rights for almost 200 schools nationwide, and is responsible for approving the usage of team and word marks that appear on most early season draft pick and NFL trading card products.

Officials from CLC and Upper Deck could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

Stay tuned to for additional details to this story as they become available.

— Tracy Hackler