In an effort to boost demand and collectibility for its basketball card releases for the remainder of this season, Upper Deck is cutting production levels for its remaining 2007-08 offerings. Hobby shops that purchase direct from Upper Deck will not be guaranteed allocations of the products. Instead, cards will only be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“The cuts actually started with SP Authentic Basketball and have been pretty significant,” said Chris Kollmeyer, Upper Deck’s basketball brand manager. “The cuts are difficult to take from a financial standpoint, but allow us to make improvements to the brands.” Kollmeyer said the lower print runs for UD Black Basketball means a higher concentration of superstar autographs. There are two autograph cards per box. “This is the type of enhancement the production cuts allow us to make to improve the brand and ultimately the market.”
Production levels of two of Upper Deck’s higher-end products are being cut significantly. UD Premier Basketball, scheduled to be released April 2, will be limited to just 499 cases. SP Rookie Threads, scheduled to be released April 18, will be limited to just 599 cases. The cases will now be sequentially numbered.
“The economy in general is another reason why the trading card market has struggled as of late,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck hobby marketing manager. “Most market experts believe the NBA trading card market will rebound and collectors will come back to this rookie class. When it does recover, we anticipate the limited supply will act as another catalyst to improve values on products from this season.”