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Sports fans, gamers and memorabilia collectors are all very passionate about their hobbies so recently on a business trip to Georgia I wanted to visit some of the shops that cater to these customers. If you are spending time in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, here are three Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealers I thoroughly enjoyed visiting.
Chris Gilmore & Evan Feuerstein
9850 Nesbit Ferry Road #18
Alpharetta, GA 30022
I’ve known Chris Gilmore for years and was very excited when he expanded his popular online community Freedom Cardboard by opening up a hobby shop of his very own in Alpharetta. I loved that the shop has a couple places very nearby to watch games as there’s nothing like watching a great game and then grabbing some cards or memorabilia from the stars of that game. They have a good supply of sports collectibles and some unique memorabilia as well. Best yet, if they don’t have it, Evan Feuerstein who runs the sports card side of the business certainly knows how to get it.
The main driver for the shop is the gaming division and they have a tremendous amount of space for tournaments. I talked to several fans who appreciate Upper Deck’s Legendary™: A Marvel Deck Building game. If you enjoy the gaming category, this is one shop you will definitely want to hit!
840 Ernest Barrett Parkway #708
Kennesaw, GA 30144
I’ve talked with Ross a lot over the years, so to be able to walk in his shop was a tremendous thrill and WOW, what a shop! Champion Sportscards is one of the most impressive, organized and fan friendly stores I have ever been in. If you are a sports fan or looking for the perfect gifts for sports fans, you absolutely have to visit them.
They have an impressive line-up of sports trading cards available from all sports and years with a wide array of supplies.
Additionally, I was blown away by the incredibly selection of sports memorabilia in the shop. The shop is almost like an amazing mancave and they even have a television on playing all the games. This is a must-stop shop for sports fans in GA.
310 North Glynn Street #A
Fayetteville, GA 30214
I think I surprised Steve Chafardon when I walked through his doors as nobody from any card company had walked through his doors in decades. Although I was short on time, I had a nice conversation with Steve. It confirmed what I thought about him, he LOVES his customers and will do anything to help them out. If you are near Fayetteville trust and believe that Steve will be on your side to get you whatever you need at a fair deal.
Not only does he have a solid supply of sports cards, but he has an incredible knowledge on the hobby. He should be a tremendous resource for collectors getting started in the category or even seasoned pros. Steve also carries some unique memorabilia items that are worth checking out. Steve really enjoys having kids in for gaming tournaments as well. Sports Legends really has something for everyone!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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.
|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.
|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?
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.
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.
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!