Archive for May, 2012
Anze Kopitar sealed Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals for the Los Angeles Kings last night with a clutch goal in overtime. He celebrated with his team including Drew Doughty who has been playing some tenacious defense all series long. And wouldn’t you know it; a highly coveted redemption card featuring both of those players from 2010-11 NHL The Cup was recently claimed on May 29. Our redemption team is in the process of packing it out, but we just had to share an image of this beauty with fans because of all the excitement around Kings hockey. Take a gander.
Upper Deck loves to see father’s collecting with their kids as we believe it helps create a love for sports and memories that lasts a lifetime. To celebrate the bond between dad’s and their kids as they collect together, we are searching for one dad to honor as Upper Deck’s ‘Father of the Year.” Besides just the acclaim of being named Upper Deck’s ‘Father of the Year,” the winner will also be featured on Upper Deck’s Facebook page for Father’s Day, will receive a trophy and score six boxes of 2011-12 Upper Deck trading card product. And the best part is that it is absolutely FREE to participate in the promotion!
Fans can nominate themselves, someone else or their dad to be Upper Deck’s “Father of the Year.” Just email an image of the father and kid(s) collecting Upper Deck trading cards together at UpperDeckMarketing@upperdeck.com. Tell us in eight sentences or less in the email containing the image why collecting with dad is fun and why the dad shown should be Upper Deck’s “Father of the Year.” Emails must be received by Tuesday, June 12 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific. We will select the winner who most skillfully conveys the fun of collecting with dad with their picture and written submission on Wednesday, June 13 to be Upper Deck’s inaugural “Father of the Year.”
So grab some UD packs and get the family together. Take some photos and get going on that written submission. Families are encouraged to work together on their submissions. We’ll be waiting to get your emails and name the Upper Deck’s “Father of the Year” for 2012. And even if you don’t win, take comfort in knowing that in reality you already have. These moment you share with your kid(s) will stay with them forever and Upper Deck is so very proud to be a part of that.
The Los Angeles Lakers have always been the kings of Los Angeles scene. Until recently however, the new kings of Los Angeles has become, well, the Kings. Thanks in part to the recent success by the NHL Western Conference’s 8th and final seed; the Los Angeles Kings have blazed through the three rounds of the Western conference playoffs with an 11-3 record en route to their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1993. Each of the Kings’ three series wins have come against the Western Conference’s top three seeds; the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks, the highly touted defensive-minded St. Louis Blues, and most recently, the resurgent Phoenix Coyotes.
With this improbable playoff run, it’s no wonder why the Kings have attracted a massive fan base as of late. The Kings bandwagon is almost unavoidable. With both the Lakers and Clippers ousted in the Western Conference semifinals of the NBA Playoffs, the Staples Center belongs to the Kings. Last week, the Staples Center played host to two NHL playoff games and four NBA playoff games over a four-day span, making the tough doubleheader conversions even more difficult and on a consecutive day basis. But now with only one Los Angeles team remaining, the Staples Center will be off for a week from sporting events before hosting the King’s first Stanley Cup game in nineteen years.
And while fans in the Los Angeles area all cheer for the same players, others feel more entitled to be recognized than others. From afar, Los Angeles Kings fans create the sea of black, purple, and silver. Yet some fans avoid associating themselves with the newfound bandwagon fans of the Kings, and resort to the title of a true, lifelong fan. But what constitutes a true Los Angeles Kings fan? I mean, the team has not exactly been a power player in the NHL since their only Stanley Cup appearance in 1993 with the help of a player by the name of Wayne Gretzky and current ESPN NHL anchor Barry Melrose as head coach. The topic is uncharted. Is a true fan the one who buys the season tickets with a preconceived notion that the season will fall short of the playoffs? Or is it someone who stays connected away from the ice collecting cards and collectibles of the Kings past and present? On top of that, what cards or collectibles would a collector have to have to illustrate his degree of devotion? We asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter along with some internal staff and we came to the consensus that if you are a true Los Angeles Kings fan, you’ve got to have these players in your collection:
10. Bailey – You’re not going to find a better mascot in the NHL than Bailey, make sure you are following one of the leagues best on Twitter! Some of his best collectibles are only available to Bailey’s Buddies. Check that out HERE.
9. Bernie Nicholls – He was an iconic player for the Kings in the ‘80’s who is in the top five for just about every offensive team record.
8. Rogie Vachon – An amazing goalie for the Kings who never gave up a goal on a penalty shot, Vachon went on to serve as the general manager and interim coach on occasion for the team.
7. Drew Doughty – Not only is he great with the Kings, but he was a beast in the Olympics as well helping Team Canada to gold.
6. Dustin Brown – He’s the team captain and a driving force for the team’s success this post season. You think you’re a real Kings fan? Not without Dustin Brown in your collection.
5. Luc Robitaille – No member of the Los Angeles Kings has found the net more than Luc and he is not only a fan favorite, but a huge favorite with collectors as well.
4. Anze Kopitar – Not only does Kopitar get a lot of love from hockey fans, but collectors love him as well. There are a few Kopitar super collectors out there who have been waiting for the day to see Anze reach the NHL’s biggest stage. You can tell who the real fans are among those collectors, they are the ones buying more Kopitar, not selling.
3. Marcel Dionne – Dionne was a superstar who just couldn’t quite get over the hump in the playoffs despite playing with Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer. He’s #1 in points and assist for the kings and also is #1 in a lot of Kings fan’s hearts!
2. Jonathan Quick – Three weeks ago you could have purchased rookie cards of Jonathan Quick for much less than you could today, much to the chagrin of Johnny-come-lately fans. He has gone from being a hot goalie to the best goalie in the NHL. You can’t be a Kings fan without having something from Mr. Quick!
1. Wayne Gretzky – Not much needs to be said about “The Great One.” He made hockey mainstream not only in Los Angeles, but in the U.S. as well. Anyone who calls themselves a Kings fans has got to have some type of Gretzky collectibles in their home, office or safety deposit box.
Apparently, the Kings organization is welcoming of all fans regardless of expertise. On Monday May 21st, the Kings displayed an info graphic on their website noting the disparities between the Los Angeles Kings and Sacramento Kings after some confusion in the media with logos among other things. The graphic notes blatant differences between the two teams including the object used (a puck vs. a ball) and logos. Though comic in content and obvious differences, the graphic seems to have been posted on the site with direct informative intention for curious individuals as well.
The Los Angeles Kings are collecting all sorts of new fans, but we believe some of the oldest are the best and we are going to reward one of those lifelong fans. Just post an image of you with any card of the ten players we listed above to the Upper Deck Facebook page or Tweet it to us @UpperDeckHockey and we will pick our favorite to receive a special selection of Kings collectibles from Bailey’s Buddies sets. You must appear in the picture and the more you look like a Los Angeles Kings fan, the better your chances are of winning. We’ll select our favorite image on Tuesday, June 29 to receive this prize pack.
Upper Deck would like to thank all the men and women of our armed forces, at home and abroad, who have helped protect and defend this nation. We appreciate your service more than you know. We also know that there is quite a large percentage of the military who love to collect Upper Deck trading cards. I was speaking to a Navy Seal yesterday who collects that told me, “Collecting cards while your deployed is a great way to pass the time and more importantly, it is a great reminder of home.”
It the past Upper Deck has made efforts to partner with non-profit organizations like Operation Gratitude to donate sealed packs of Upper Deck trading cards that were used in care packages to those serving in our armed forces overseas. While UD absolutely plans to continue donating and helping out organizations like Operation Gratitude, we wanted to create a tribute to the armed forces this year by creating the “Military Machines” insert set that will be a part of 2012 Goodwin Champions.
“The ‘Military Machines’ insert was created to continue the path the Goodwin Champions brand has forged to provide card collectors with unique trading cards that touch upon historical and cultural themes that are not often offered in mainstream products,” said Grant Sandground, Upper Deck product development manager. “These amazing machines represent an important timeline of achievements in military engineering throughout the 19th and 20th century and we’re proud to incorporate this slice of history into 2012 Goodwin Champions. We hope members of our armed forces and military enthusiasts enjoy the inclusion of this insert series.”
The “Military Machines” trading cards will be randomly inserted in 2012 Goodwin Champions which releases later on this summer. In the meantime, take a look at 19 of the 25 cards that will be included in this special set:
Nothing gives staff here at Upper Deck more of a thrill than to engage younger collectors and help make trading cards come to life for them by providing them with an experience like no other. That is the case we have with Upper Deck’s 2012 NHL Draft Runner promotion where once again Upper Deck helps bring collectors closer to the game.
One lucky 10-13 year old fan can earn the opportunity to become Upper Deck’s 2012 NHL Draft Runner. They will work directly with the NHL during the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh on June 22 and June 23, 2012. The experience will take them behind the scenes at one of the most important NHL events of the year. Just take a look at what Zeke Estrada, a former Upper Deck NHL Draft Runner, thought of the experience by clicking HERE.
To take part in this promotion, all you need to do is visit a participating Pittsburgh area Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer, purchase five packs of 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck product and submit an essay (3-6 paragraphs, one page max) as to why you should be the 2012 Upper Deck NHL Draft Runner OR the purchaser can submit an essay nominating a 10-13 year old hockey fan. All essays need to be submitted to the following retail partners after purchasing the specified 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck packs:
Greentree Sports Cards
1002 Greentree Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Sportscards Etc. Robinson Township
5629B Steubenville Pike
McKees Rocks, PA 15136
110 West McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Steel City Collectibles
1000 Ross Park Mall Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Steel City Collectibles
5256 Route 30
Greensburg, PA 15604
All essays need to be received in by these locations by no later than Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Upper Deck will select one winner who best embodies the spirit of a true hockey fan to serve as the 2012 Upper Deck NHL Draft Runner. Five runners-up will receive a box of 2011-12 Upper Deck NHL product. Upper Deck is excited to provide this once-in-a-lifetime experience to a young collector. Good luck to all those who participate!