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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Panini America readies first Ernie Davis memorabilia card by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Tucked among the behind-the-scenes images that Panini America released on Friday documenting its quality control process was a gem probably missed by many.

What is it?

The first memorabilia card of former Syracuse star and Cleveland Browns legend Ernie Davis.

Davis was the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy and appeared to be set for a fine pro career — he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (also a social first) in 1962 — before he was diagnosed with leukemia and died at age 23 on May 18, 1963. His only appearance on a professional field came when he was introduced to the crowd during a preseason game at Cleveland Stadium.

Davis’ story was the subject of a recent major motion picture, The Express, as well, but despite all of that, he still hasn’t yet had an extensive number of football cards — and not a single memorabilia card.

All that changes when 2010 Certified arrives in hobby shops on Nov. 17.

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Alabama football media guide sure is subtle, isn’t it? by Chris Olds

It’s been out for some time now, but I hadn’t tracked down a copy of the Alabama Crimson Tide‘s 2010 media guide to see just how the school treated its 13th national championship and its first Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram.

Subtle, isn’t it?

Maybe not, but at a first (thumbnail-size) glance, I didn’t realize that he was holding the crowning jewel of the American Football Coaches Association trophy, the Waterford Crystal football that tops it.

Once I did, I realized that’s a pretty cool image. Having spent a few years in Tuscaloosa and, having finished school there in 2000, I can easily say that very little is this subtle when it comes to Alabama football.

And there’s nothing subtle about this media guide’s appeal. It will be a sweet item to get signed —  if one can chase down Ingram.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



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

staffordclc copy

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

CLClogo

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

CLClogo

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 Beckett.com for additional details to this story as they become available.

— Tracy Hackler