There is an excitement and energy around cities that host the NHL® All-Star Game and as the exclusive trading card partner for the NHL®, Upper Deck went all out to make the festivities in Columbus, Ohio special for fans in attendance. It’s not just about getting time with the players, it’s about helping to create incredible memories for the passionate hockey fanatics. These are the top ten memorable moments from the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend for Upper Deck!
#10 – Puck-O
Fans loved playing Upper Deck’s version of the Plinko game where they dropped pucks to win cool prizes from Upper Deck. Look for this fun game to make an appearance at future shows!
#9 – The Upper Deck Wheel of Jersey Cards
Fans both young and old (and even some mascots) loved spinning our Wheel of Jersey cards to score new Upper Deck trading cards with actual pieces of game-used jerseys embedded in them. Fans also had the opportunity to score other limited-edition insert cards and even some autograph cards!
#8 – Upper Deck Personalized Cards
Every young hockey fan dreams of one day appearing on an Upper Deck card. Upper Deck brought in a professional photographer to take pictures of fans and print them up on an actual trading card on-site. Besides seeing the Stanley Cup, this promotion had the most fans come through during the entire NHL® Fan Fair.
#7 – Tim Carroll Live Art
Tim Carroll continued to blow fan’s minds by his incredible mosaic art where he used Upper Deck NHL® cards from our 25 year history to recreate the rookie card of one of the top All-Star players; Alex Ovechkin.
#6 – Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness
We brought the popular Upper Deck Random Acts of Kindness (UDRAK) program to Columbus and surprised younger fans with cool signed memorabilia while also taking packs to the people. It was a lot of fun to see the smiles these unexpected gifts created!
#5 – Roberto Luongo’s Daughters
Many of the players and their families made their way through the NHL® Fan Fair during the week, including the family of Roberto Luongo. We opened up some packs with his daughters and one of them pulled a card of her dad. She was thrilled! Unfortunately her sister did not and was devastated. We walked her over to a local dealer and were able to negotiate a trade so she could get a card of daddy as well and we were able to turn her frown upside down.
#4 – Aiden McAfoose
Being able to create some special memories for fans is what this event is all about. Perhaps nobody had better memories made than Aiden McAfoose who won the opportunity from Upper Deck, Defending the Blue Line and the NHL® to attend all the events during the weekend. Watch as we surprised Aiden with the news!
#3 – Upper Deck Ultimate Fan Promotion
Upper Deck encouraged fans to submit images of themselves during the weekend to earn some great prizes. It has been amazing to see all the passionate fan who took part in the promotion. You can vote for your favorite here: http://upperdeckblog.com/ultimate-fan/
#2 – Game Activations
Upper Deck was all over the Skills Competition and actual All-Star Game with advertisements throughout and some grass roots marketing efforts with fans in an effort to convert them to collectors.
#1 – Upper Deck 25 Years of Hockey Award
To celebrate 25 consecutive years of Upper Deck licensed NHL® and NHLPA trading card releases, Brian Jennings of the NHL® presented Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s president, with a special award in the form of an acrylic hockey stick.
And then we shared anniversary cake with fans at the NHL® All-Star Fan Fair.
For players selected to be a NHL® All-Star, they are in store for an action packed weekend of events. Upper Deck Athlete Relations staff are busy during the weekend to secure signing sessions with some of the biggest NHL® stars for upcoming releases. Check out some of the players our guys tracked down during the weekend!
Obviously with such tremendous demands on their time, not all the players were able to take time out to sign. However, by being on site and active throughout the weekend, we were able to connect with agents and player reps. We had very productive conversations about athletes we are still chasing for autographs like Vladimir Tarasenko and about other players we may do deals with in the future.
For nine-year-old Aiden McAfoose, the game of hockey has been a nice distraction and way to keep him busy while both of his parents serve in the military (Air Force). Aiden wrote an essay on why he loves the game so much that his parents submitted on his behalf for an Upper Deck promotion. Upper Deck partnered with the NHL® and the Defending the Blue Line Charity to surprise one youngster with an incredible weekend of All-Star activities. Aiden’s essay made him the clear choice. Here are some portions of his essay:
“Both my mother and father are in the military. Being a military dependent makes me feel proud. I really miss them when they get deployed.
“My biggest passion has always been hockey. As long as I can remember I have wanted to play. My mom started teaching me how to skate when I was two. I started to learn how to play ice hockey when I was four, but before that I played at home every day for hours. My favorite team is the Pittsburgh Penguins and I have attended many of their games since I was a baby. My favorite players are Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Evegni Malkin, David Perron and Max Pacioretty.
“I have a lot of hockey cards and memorabilia. I have three books and also signed jerseys, pucks, mini helmets, sticks, hats and posters. My dream is to become a NHL® star.”
Aiden will get the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a NHL® All-Star this weekend. He came out with his grandfather under the guise they would try to scalp some tickets for some of the events, but when he arrived, Upper Deck and Defending the Blue Line staff let him in on the surprise. This weekend, Aiden and his grandfather will enjoy complimentary tickets to the NHL® All-Star Fan Fair, Skills Competition and All-Star Game. On Saturday he will go behind the scenes with a special VIP locker room tour. Additionally, Upper Deck took care of their hotel accommodations and gifted Aiden with some collectibles that will surely become the centerpieces of his collection.
Upon hearing the news Aiden simply said, “Wow, just wow. All I can say is thanks! This is like a dream.”
Check out the video of Aiden being surprised with the news.
Aiden ended up having the time of his life with one of the best moments coming from meeting many of the players. Upper Deck had him over to the player’s hotel and helped him meet his heroes. The best moment came when he happened to be at the Upper Deck booth and met his favorite All-Star Marc-Andre Fleury. His mother said, “He came home and talked about it for hours. He couldn’t even remember all the stories because he said so much happened.”
This is not the first time Upper Deck has worked with helping out the military. Upper Deck partnered with Defending the Blue Line for the NHL® Draft and during the holidays while also doing activations around Veteran’s Day, Operation Gratitude, and more. It is just part of the company’s continuing effort to be recognized at the military’s choice for trading cards.
As the exclusive home of NHL® and NHLPA licensed trading cards, Upper Deck plans to have a major presence at the 2015 NHL® All-Star Fan Fair in Columbus, Ohio next week. Below are the activities you will want to make sure you take part in if you plan on attending this celebration to the game of hockey!
Wrapper Redemption Promotions – Just visit Cardiacs or Dave & Adam’s Cardworld booths at the 2015 NHL® All-Star Fan Fair to purchase qualifying Upper Deck products to use for three (3) different wrapper redemption promotions at the Upper Deck booth!
Spin Wheel Wrapper Redemption – Just spin n’ win Upper Deck wheel of jersey cards! Fans can bring one (1) sealed Upper Deck NHL® Series One Blaster Box or five (5) sealed packs of 2014-15 NHL® MVP, 2014-15 NHL® O-Pee-Chee, 2014-15 NHL® Upper Deck Series One or 2014-15 NHL® Black Diamond to the Upper Deck booth to spin the wheel and get a FREE Upper Deck jersey card!
Puck-O Wrapper Redemption – Remember that game show where you drop the disc down a board to score a cool prize? Upper Deck will be bringing our own version of that to the 2015 NHL® All-Star Fan Fair with our Puck-O game where fans can drop a special puck down a board to score the cool prize. Fans only need to bring one sealed pack of 2014-15 NHL® Upper Deck Series One to play*.
*Fans who bring more than one pack will need to exit and get back into line to drop another disc. Fans who bring a sealed Blaster Box will get two (2) puck drops and VIP front of line privileges.
Personalized Upper Deck Card Redemption – Ever dream of having your very own Upper Deck NHL® trading card? Well dream no more. All you need to do is bring one (1) sealed pack of 2014-15 NHL® MVP, 2014-15 NHL® O-Pee-Chee, 2014-15 NHL® Upper Deck Series One or 2014-15 NHL® Black Diamond to the Upper Deck booth. From there we will have a professional photographer shoot an image of you and print your very own Upper Deck NHL® card for you on-site!
Upper Deck Authenticated Show Specials – Fans can check out some of Upper Deck Authenticated’s incredible authentic signed hockey memorabilia at the 2015 NHL® All-Star Fan Fair and take their favorite pieces home at amazing show specials!
Upper Deck Ultimate Fan – Are you the Upper Deck’s Ultimate NHL® fan? Just grab your camera phone, snap and share on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ultimatefan. Photos will be judged for their creativity, composition and Upper Deck pride. Upper Deck will award 10 prizes consisting of signed pucks and game-worn jersey cards and one Grand Prize of a Wayne Gretzky signed poster from Upper Deck Authenticated!
Coach Cardman Visits – Upper Deck’s mascot Coach Cardman will be on site throughout the show posing for pictures and having fun with fans. Wherever Coach Cardman goes, fun is sure to be had!
Aaron Ekblad Autograph Signing – Upper Deck will sponsor a FREE signing session with the #1 Draft Pick in the 2014 NHL® Draft; Aaron Ekblad with the Florida Panthers. Aaron will be signing on the main stage with times to be announced shortly!
Box Hockey Tournaments – Show your hockey prowess against your friends and family in Upper Deck’s box Hockey Tournaments which will run throughout the weekend at the Upper Deck booth. You’ll know the events are running when you hear the cheers from fans watching.
Tim Carroll Trading Card Art – Come out to see the incredible talent of artist Tim Carroll as he does the unthinkable by cutting up Upper Deck NHL® trading cards to make an incredible mosaic piece. You’ve got to see him at work!
To celebrate 25 years of licensed NHL® and NHLPA hockey cards, Upper Deck is hitting the road to personally thank the shops and customers who have kept the company going strong for all these years. After running three Silver Celebration parties in the United States and Canada, Upper Deck is heading east to visit two shops in Ohio for a special evening with their collectors.
On Tuesday, January 20, Upper Deck will visit All-Pro Sportscards in Cuyahoga Falls from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and then on Wednesday, January 21, Upper Deck will visit TCI Sports Fan in Dayton from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. There will be complimentary refreshments and an incredible raffle based on Upper Deck purchases from that evening where fans can score Upper Deck apparel, sealed product, insert cards, items from the NHL® and a very limited-edition LeBron James signed poster! These will be evenings you won’t want to miss!
Here are all the details:
Silver Celebration Party at All-Pro Sportscards
Tuesday, January 20 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
492 Graham Road
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
Silver Celebration Party at TCI Sports Fan
Wednesday, January 21 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
3962 Linden Avenue
Dayton, OH 45432
Don’t miss an event 25 years in the making!