2009-10 UD Hockey releases
With the NHL regular season nearly upon us, the Upper Deck Company – the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League’s (NHL) exclusive licensee of hockey trading cards – is pleased to announce its plans for the upcoming 2009-10 campaign. In addition to producing trading cards, which will include top rookie standouts including John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene, Upper Deck is pleased to provide details on some of its hobby-specific marketing programs.
“With an outstanding rookie class set to hit the ice, this season lines up as one of the best in recent years,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “Upper Deck’s Series One Hockey, which hits in November, will be the first product to showcase the new rookies, provided they skate on Opening Night.”
“NHL fans and collectors are looking forward to another solid year of both ‘tried and true’ brand releases and to some innovative cards from our exclusive trading card partner, Upper Deck,” said Dave McCarthy, NHL Vice President of Entertainment Products. “This year’s rookie class will create many exciting moments for collectors seeking to add these exclusive cards to their collections.”
“As we head into the new decade, we couldn’t be more excited about the momentum Upper Deck is building in the hobby industry with innovative programs that are sure to appeal to al collectors,” said Adam Larry, NHLPA Director, Licensing and Associate Counsel. “The NHL Rookie Debut event was a success for everyone in attendance – especially the young players who were the stars of the show – and we know hockey collectors will be blown away by the quality when these cards hit the hobby store shelves through the fall and winter months.”
Leading off Upper Deck’s marketing initiatives this season will be the return of “Biography of a Season” wrapper redemption program. Starting in November, Upper Deck’s collectors will be able to receive an exclusive NHL card highlighting great moments of the current 2009-10 season with the purchase of $5 or more worth of Upper Deck hockey cards at Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer locations. The program begins on November 1 with a new card distributed every week (four cards per month). A total of 30 unique NHL cards will be produced for the 2009-10 Biography of a Season trading card set.
Upper Deck will also be introducing a brand new program this season exclusive to Canadian hobby stores entitled “Upper Deck’s Hockey Card Heaven.” The campaign was created to encourage hobby shop owners to run various promotions and events (Trade Nights, Pack Wars, Draft Events, etc.) in their stores in order to stir up interest and foot traffic. Those hobby shops that come up with the most creative ways to do just that will be eligible to win great prizes from Upper Deck including two “grand prizes” consisting of an athlete appearance at their store. A total of 10 “first prizes” will also be doled out consisting of special tailgate parties with memorabilia, t-shirts, hats and Upper Deck hockey card products available.
And picking up right where last year’s inaugural “National Hockey Card Day” promotion left off, Upper Deck will repeat the trick on Jan. 30, 2010, by providing free five-card packs to hobby shops and retail outlets throughout Canada which will be handed out to customers. Like last year, it will consist of a 15-card set featuring Canada’s top rookies, stars and legends.
Getting back to the hockey card sets scheduled to be released this season, Upper Deck’s lineup is as follows: UD1’s release in mid-November, SPx will deliver the first rookie jersey cards of the season two months later, while Collector’s Choice, also launching in January, brings more fun with new kid-focused items such as NHL team tattoos and manga art illustrations. Even NHL players’ stickers can be found in this season’s price-friendly offering.
In February, collectors should keep their eyes peeled for Upper Deck Series Two Hockey as this will complete where UD1 left off with the latest rookies and a collectible rookie swatch insert. And sliding right in with great acetate rookie cards will be ICE Hockey, which is slated to hit store shelves on February 24. And no fooling around, SP Authentic, the home of the rookie autograph, is slated to launch April 1. And serving as the ideal end-of-the-season capper to the year’s biggest set, Upper Deck’s 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Update figures to light the lamp with its awesome assortment of the season’s top rookies.