UD renews license to produce NHL cards

The Upper Deck Company announced March 25 it has reached a multi-year, co-exclusive trading card licensing agreement with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and National Hockey League. This much-anticipated accord maintains Upper Deck’s longstanding partnership with both entities and keeps the Carlsbad-based hockey card manufacturer producing hockey cards.
“Upper Deck is very pleased to continue its 20-year trading card partnership with the NHLPA and the NHL,” said Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck’s Founder and CEO. “Since 2005, through its exclusive partnership with the NHLPA and the NHL, Upper Deck has taken the category and Upper Deck’s hockey brands to unimaginable levels. For the past 20 years, Upper Deck has been the only licensed company consistently producing NHL trading cards. We will continue to deliver high-end excitement and innovation and I am happy to say, our best is yet to come.”
"We moved to an exclusive model in the NHL player trading card category five years ago and Upper Deck was the right partner to undertake that responsibility," said Adam Larry, NHLPA Director of Licensing. "Working with Upper Deck, we have seen a steady growth of the hockey card category during that time. The current stability of the category now enables the NHLPA to grant a license to both Upper Deck and Panini as the NHLPA feels this is the best way to meet the growing demand and needs of collectors."
“The NHL is pleased to extend our longstanding relationship with Upper Deck,” said Dave McCarthy, Vice President of Integrated Marketing, NHL. “Throughout their tenure as a trading card licensee and more recently as the exclusive manufacturer of NHL trading cards they have created ‘must-have’ products, encouraged a new generation of collectors and have been a fully engaged business partner on every level. We look forward to continuing to build this fan-favorite category as we move forward.”
For Upper Deck, the announcement marks a new chapter in the company’s 20-year partnership with the NHL and the NHLPA, one that saw Upper Deck operate as the exclusive NHL player trading card manufacturer since the 2005-06 NHL season. The innovative releases Upper Deck has brought to market, along with engaging marketing programs like “Biography of a Season,” “Hockey Card Heaven” and its annual “National Hockey Card Day” initiative have helped re-energize the NHL trading card division. Young stars like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares have helped showcase the great sport of hockey while encouraging fans to collect rookie cards of their favorite players.
The 2010-11 NHL trading card season is scheduled to launch with Upper Deck’s Victory line in August followed by more outstanding products on the horizon.

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