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In 2010, the Collegiate Licensing Company and Upper Deck announced an exclusive trading card partnership that revolutionized the college trading card market. That exclusive partnership is still in effect today, and will continue well into 2015.

Upper Deck continues to be fully committed in creating the most innovative, high quality collegiate trading cards ever produced.  Previously, collegiate cards were only interspersed into professional trading card sets by the large manufacturers, and referred to as “Professional Prospect cards.”  Over the last 4 years, Upper Deck has taken collegiate cards to a whole new level, creating comprehensive school-specific trading card sets, releasing the first-ever college video trading cards, introducing never-before-seen college mascot patch cards, producing NCAA helmet cards, rare Shadow Box cards, high-value master collections and countless others.  In addition, Upper Deck has expanded well beyond the boundaries of traditional college sports to include a wide array of both men’s and women’s athletic programs that have never been featured on trading cards.

As an exclusive trading card partner of the CLC, Upper Deck has been able to responsibly manage the category, limiting releases and production so as not to saturate the market or jeopardize the steady growth and solid foundation that has taken years of hard work to build.

Upper Deck strives to bring collectors high quality products, and to deliver collegiate cards that are continuously recognized for holding some of the highest market values across the entire trading card market.

Imminent changes in 2015 have already sparked serious concerns from collectors, store owners, distributors and others in the trading card industry.  Mismanagement of the collegiate trading card license could destroy the stability that this market has come to rely on, and flood the market with an excess of products that hold little or no value.  Upper Deck is working hard to not let this happen, and is committed to delivering the most innovative, high quality collectible trading cards available in the market today, tomorrow and into the foreseeable future.

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Most businesses don’t make it through their first year, let alone 25. At Upper Deck we felt it was important to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary with a variety of fun promotions, activations at trade shows and of course, with trading cards. Upper Deck partnered with our Authorized Distributor network to create and distribute this limited-edition anniversary set featuring athletes from a variety of sports.

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The cards are designed in the style of the famous 1989 Upper Deck Baseball set and consists of 110 base cards, 40 rookies and a bevy of amazing inserts. Each pack contains five cards with one being a rookie card.

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2014-Upper-Deck-25th-Anniversary-Set-Rookie-Johnny-Manziel

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When it comes to the inserts however, that’s where things get exciting. There are autograph parallels and one-of-one printing plate parallels of the entire set.

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The double and triple autographs are city themed so you can find cards of players from different sports who achieved greatness playing in the same regions.

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The most buzz however seems to be around the Silver Celebration parallel set numbered to 250 copies. The first ten collectors who complete that set will be put into a draft where they can select one of ten incredible dual cut autograph cards featuring current Upper Deck spokesman along with deceased greats. Fans who complete that set should reach out to Upper Deck’s Marketing Team at upperdeckmarketing@upperdeck.com with a photograph of their completed set. UD will provide details on how they can submit their completed set for validation from there. Completed sets will be returned after the draft event.

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Collect the entire 150-card set numbered to 250 copies for your opportunity to score an incredible dual autograph cut card!

Packs were distributed to Upper Deck’s Authorized Distributor network and are being shared with participating hobby shops as a gift with purchase. Collectors should check with their local card shop on the availability of these special 25th Anniversary packs before they are gone!

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A lot has changed from the Civil War era when sports cards first debuted to today, but none has had more of an impact on the industry than the internet. Initially many feared the internet would signal the end to the way trading cards are bought and sold, but for the most part, it has been a positive tool for collectors, hobby shop owners and trading card manufacturers who have chosen to embrace this technology to find new levels of engagement in this hobby. It is clear that Upper Deck has done a great job of engaging their fans through online tools like this Blog, their company website, their Facebook page, their YouTube channel and their Twitter accounts for sports, hockey and entertainment. The tools Upper Deck provides make it a lot easier to be a trading card collector and to stay up to date with the latest happenings with the company.

There used to be trading card clubs where collectors could get together to trade with each other and share their latest trading cards. That is all done online nowadays as there are a variety of online communities where collectors share their great pulls and trade with each other on various forums. And how awesome is that to see the internet bring like-minded collectors together to experience the hobby on a whole new level no matter if they live in Topeka, Kansas or Moosejaw, Saskatchewan.

Arguably the biggest change from before the internet era was how cards are bought and sold. Instead of walking down to your local hobby shop, today you can buy or sell trading cards with a few clicks of the mouse. Unfortunately with internet sales of collectible items come unscrupulous buyers and sellers looking to make a quick buck by taking advantage unsuspecting collectors. Upper Deck has definitely adapted to the times by creating their Authorized Internet Retailer group as a way of protecting consumers from these online predators. If you live in the United States and purchase sealed product online, make sure you are only purchasing your Upper Deck cards through these Authorized Internet Retailers.

OC Dugout is an Authorized Internet Retailer for Upper Deck that routinely brings athletes in for signings. Here Reggie Jackson signs at the popular Southern California store.

Dave & Adams Cardworld Tonawanda, NY 14150 (888) 440-9787 www.dacardworld.com
East Coast Connection Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 (201) 438-4327 www.eastcoastconnection.net
Fox Sports Cards Marion, IL 62959 (618) 997-3800 www.foxsportscards.com
Legacy Sports Cards Las Vegas, NV 89117 702-341-6525 www.legacysportscards.com
Legends Sports and Games Grand Rapids, MI 49512 (866) 975-2518 www.legendsfanshop.com
OC Dugout Anaheim, CA 92804 (714) 527-6319 www.OCsportscards.com
Republic Jewelry & Collectibles Auburn, ME 04210-6150 (877) 422-7979 www.republicjewelry.com
South Bay Baseball Cards Inc. Lomita, CA 90717 (310) 530-5818 www.sbaycards.com
SportsCards Etc. McKees Rock, PA 15136 (412) 787-3235 www.sportscardsetcpgh.com
Steel City Collectibles McKeesport PA 15132 (412) 672-6200 www.steelcitycollectibles.com
The Hobby Box Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 350- 2858 www.cardsinfinity.com

And if you live in Canada, make sure to check out these Authorized Internet Retailers for your Upper Deck purchases.

D&M Sports Cards in Canada is a huge retail sports store that also has a strong online presence.

Breakaway Sports Cards Hamilton, Ontario L9C 2Y6 (289) 755-0966 www.breakawaysc.com
Cardboard Memories Brampton, Ontario L6Z 1R3 (905) 846-1058 www.cardboardmemories.ca
Cartes Timbre et Monnaies Ste-foy Sainte-Foy, PQ G1V 4P7 (418) 658-5639 www.imaginaire.com
Clouts’n’Chara Kitchener, Ontario N2H 5G3 (519)-954-8278 www.cloutsnchara.com
Collector’s Avenue Montrea, Quebec  H3W 3C2 (514) 488-8881 www.collectorsavenue.com
D & M Sportscards Moncton NB E1G 1A6 (506) 852-3244 www.dmsportscards.com
Maple Leaf Sports Calgary, Alberta T2E-2T9 (403) 338-0668 www.mapleleafsports.ca
Red Nails II North York, ON M3L 1B2 (416) 242-7899 www.rednails2.com
Superstars Winnipeg, MB R3J 0H3 (204) 831-9001 www.superstarssports.com
Wayne’s Sports Cards Edmonton, Alberta T5T 1L6 (780) 483-3177 www.waynessportscards.com

The trading card industry was slower to adapt to the internet, but it is clear Upper Deck and others are using other industries as a blue-print for what works best in this digital age. I’m not sure what new online invention will be next to blow customer’s minds, but I’m sure it will serve to make the hobby better and keep the industry alive. How do you think the internet will change the world of sports card collecting next and how else to you think it has changed the hobby?

Make sure to look for the Upper Deck Authorized Internet Retailer logo when purchasing sealed UD product online.

Sam is a young writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. When’s he’s not watching sports he’s tweeting about it. You can follow Sam on Twitter @Chinookverify.

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There’s no athlete hotter right now than LeBron James so when Mike Tyson found himself at the largest sports collectibles show recently, he wanted to get a gift for his kids. He asked show promoters to help him find a LeBron James jersey and after finding a few items that seemed a little suspect, they came right to the source at Upper Deck as we have an exclusive agreement with LeBron.

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We worked to identify something very unique his kids would enjoy and came up with the LeBron James signed & inscribed “King James” jersey. And as you can see from “Iron” Mike’s reaction, it looks like we scored him the perfect piece! We hope his children enjoy!

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Early on in the career of Tiger Woods, media began reporting on, “The Tiger Effect.” They talked about how Tiger was not only doing great things for himself, but increasing interest in the game, increasing tournament purses, increasing sales of golf equipment, increasing the amount of training professionals put into their game and encouraging a whole new generation of kids to pick up the clubs and play.

And just as Tiger Woods has done for golf, so has Landon Donovan done for the sport of soccer in the United States. He has been America’s shining star and our opportunity to tell the world, “We can play this game and we can win!” With Landon playing for the stars and stripes, you always felt like the USA had a chance. With that he gave us the kind of moments that give you goosebumps and make you proud to be an American. Thank you Landon.

Thank you for showing Europe that American players can succeed in places like Everton.

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Thank you Landon for the MLS Cup victories.

Thank-You-Landon-for-the-MLS-Cup-Victories

Thank you Landon for the World Cup goals.

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Thank you Landon for being the best U.S. soccer player of all-time.

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Thank you Landon for making fans feel like this.

Thank you Landon for your feet and their incredible ability to put the ball in the net!

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Thank you Landon for the goal against Algeria.

Thank you Landon for the grace in which you handled Jurgen Kiinsmann’s decision on the 2014 World Cup.

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Thank you Landon for making us feel like this.

Thank you Landon, we will not forget you. How could we when we have so much to remember you by!

Thank-You-Landon-We-Will-Not-Foget-You-Stars-Stripes

#ThankYouLandon

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