Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upper Deck Responds To Rumors Of Loss of License

Just to update the situation, Upper Deck's twitter account has responded to my post of the rumors that their NFL license is being cancelled due to a number of reasons.

First off, let me say that I am glad that they have responded to the post. I think to have official word is better than leaving it out in the open. My post of an unconfirmed rumor may have been premature, but I feel it was necessary to inform people of the chatter I had heard. Although there is a chance that the rumor may be true, I think there is just as much of a chance that it may not be per my post.

This hobby has been in a state of flux for the last few months, and part of that was viciously swirling around Upper Deck's future. Although I believe that Upper Deck makes the best products on the market, their state of affairs has seemed disheveled as of late. First the Konami lawsuit, then the MLBP lawsuit, the cancellation of UD draft football and the rest of the baseball calendar, and most recently, reports of a new license for Panini in the once Upper Deck exclusive sport of hockey. Its tough to ignore the problems that seem to be plaguing the company.

I sincerely hope that UD continues to be able to produce football cards, as I dont think any other company produces products with the quality that they do. Despite this fact, not everyone is happy with their recent business practices, and it has led to some venom on the side of the collectors. It has also contributed to people trying to sabotage certain programs, and I can see if this is one of those rumors that may fall under that category.

I wish UD the best of luck in maintaining their brand, hopefully it will continue to be able to be produced.


  1. Well, hopefully we'll get some solid facts beyond a tweet.

  2. Believe it or not, I would like to see UD move beyond both its recent failures and defeats, and come out of it a better company that makes better products.

    Sure, the top-price releases show off well, but even medium-ticket sets (Sweet Spot), and especially lower-price ('08 Documentary, '10 MLB Series I) just look like panic-to-press products.

    Collectors are better off with a strong, independent, and honest UD in the marketplace; one that spends more in the art and research departments than it does on legal.

    It appears that business-as-usual (litigate and release?) will need to come to a close, and wholesale changes at the decision-making levels of the company may be needed to earn back former partners-in-trust.

    As long as the company remains solvent (or at least liquid), they have a chance to live up to the potential that their social media staff have been demonstrating. My experiences with them have been stellar and best-in-industry.

    Maybe somebody should put them in charge.

  3. You can probably guess where this goes...or maybe not.

    The truth is that I actually don't want Upper Deck to go bankrupt, unless it means there business is bought out by another company like Topps or Panini. Why? Because too many people would lose their jobs, which is never a good thing.

    I do hope however that Richard McWilliam, the other executives, upper management, and their pr/marketing people not only lose their jobs, but go to prison (unlikely as it is) for their unethical and illegal behaviour.

    If Upper Deck did go bust, I really can't say that I would miss them. Their cards are over-hyped, over-priced and lacking in decent veteran content. Of course, my opinion might be different if my ego was being stroked by them or I was looking for sponsorship. But it's not and I am sure never will be, so their crappy products, designed for "joe collectors" looking to rip packs to get a low serial-numbered cards of high-profile rookies to sell does nothing for me.

  4. Seems like a whole lotta nuthin' wrapped up in a big ball of useless speculation to me.

    Must suck that Companies feel compelled to respond to this sort of unsubstantiated nonsense disguised as "just sayin'".

    You say yourself that there is no basis for this but then proceed to put forth your opinions as "unconfirmed truth" and give the impression that things are dire when in fact they are no different than the 5 minutes before you made the initial post.

    Seems like an odd couple of posts whose only purpose was to provoke a response.

  5. Upper Deck is gone. They will declare bankruptcy very soon. I said that months ago. Collector who gave them money will just become another creditor. All hope for them is lost.

    I still have Baseball Card Magazine from November of 1988, which was the first time I heard of Upper Deck. It was a great article. But I was someone skeptical about the company that was going to charge more for cards. The card market is about 1/5 of the size now when they entered (though I think it is coming back- thanks to the internet, ebay, bloggers)

  6. I could tolerate UD losing its license with the MLBPA, but they are putting out 2010 baseball anyway to fulfill any existing contract they have. If UD has to go belly-up completely, that will leave hockey without a major US card company, since UD bought Parkhurst, Fleer, & O-Pee-Chee in the last decade. Unless, of course, Panini wants to take a shot at hockey, too.