Archive for Soccer
Every year Upper Deck wows attendees at the Las Vegas Industry Summit with the company’s special gift packs for dealers who attend the company’s corporate address. This year was certainly no different as UD pulled out all the stops to make a memorable pack for attendees. In each of these black packs was at least one single signed autograph card, but there were also some packs with an additional Mike Trout Fleer Precious Metal Gems promotional card celebrating UD’s return to baseball (red, blue and green variations available in packs).
A full checklist of the autograph cards that could be found in packs is listed below:
|Bobby Clarke||#d to 30|
|Bobby Hull||#d to 30|
|Bobby Orr||#d to 30|
|Doug Martin||#d to 30|
|Steven Stamkos||#d to 30|
|LeBron James||#d to 23|
|Alexander Ovechkin||#d to 21|
|Landon Donovan||#d to 20|
|Vince Carter||#d to 20|
|Hulk Hogan||#d to 17|
|Mike Tyson||#d to 10|
|Tim Tebow||#d to 10|
|Michael Jordan||#d to 5|
|Wayne Gretzky||#d to 5|
|Joe Namath||#d to 4|
|Tiger Woods||#d to 2|
|Joe Namath/Roger Staubach/Dan Marino/Joe Theismann||#d to 2|
|Wayne Gretzky/LeBron James/Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods||#d to 1|
And check out these videos of retailers opening the packs and reveling in what they find:
You’re probably thinking, “That’s great, but how can I get one of those packs?” This show was all about helping hobby shops grow and thrive. If you’d like a chance to score one of these special black packs, we’d like to ask for your help in doing that. Just visit an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer sometime between now and Tuesday, March 26 at 5:00 p.m. Take a picture at that shop holding an Upper Deck pack and email it to us at UpperDeckMarketing@upperdeck.com. Include just one sentence about why you love this particular shop and/or Upper Deck products. The customer who most skillfully shows they are enthusiastic about Upper Deck and that hobby shop will score a FREE 2013 Las Vegas Industry Summit black pack.
For those customers who do not have a shop nearby them, we will have another giveaway next week for another item from the show you can qualify for, but for these packs we want fans to get out and visit a shop this weekend.
I remember early in my career with Upper Deck working in the Customer Care team where I was talking with a very irate collector about delays on his Ken Griffey Jr. redemption card. He shared, “If you don’t have the card, don’t put a redemption in the pack in the first place!”
I thought to myself, “That makes a lot of sense.” What I didn’t fully grasp at the time was how could you not include someone the caliber of Ken Griffey Jr. in a pack? He’s too important to just leave out. Also, if Upper Deck was to just completely pull some of these cards, they wouldn’t hit the insert ratios published on the packs. On top of that, as many of these cards are numbered as part of a set, there would be obvious holes which collectors really tend to despise.
But that collector had a point and as we heard others share the same sentiment, the company made a variety of fundamental changes to improve the way Upper Deck handles redemption programs. These changes were not really things that collectors have noticed, but they have most certainly had an impact. All of these changes are designed to give collectors the best pack opening experience in the industry by eliminating the total amount of redemptions in new UD products.
- Increase signing time: Wherever we can we are giving athletes more time to sign and return items to UD for inclusion in new trading card sets.
- Strong network of witnesses: Upper Deck has developed an incredibly comprehensive database of witnesses to assist with signing sessions not only in North America, but throughout the world.
- Paying on time: Athletes are more apt to participate in signing programs if they are paid in a timely fashion and Upper Deck has really improved how quickly the company pays partners.
- Avoiding use of slower signers: Athletes who have a track record of being a problem signer are not receiving new trading card deals from Upper Deck. There are some exceptions of course; those superstar athletes who have so much on their plate and only do a couple signing sessions a year still are used in sets. These athletes always sign, but we hate making our collectors wait too long there so we typically limit their use when long wait times are expected.
- Delaying product launches: Shop owners are not big fans of this one, but if we can push the release of a product back and get a couple thousand more autograph cards live in packs, we can provide collectors with a better pack opening experience.
- Pulling redemptions from new products: Much to the collectors delight in my early example, we have been following his advice over the last couple years in particular. If the cards we are waiting on are of fringe players, more often than not we will pull them from packs. Now that means we will have to produce less product and ultimately make less money, but it is for the good of the product and the brand as a whole. If including redemptions for sub-par players who are going to take forever to sign is going to make the company a few extra bucks today, it will ultimately lose the company money as collectors have a bad experience with the product and don’t come back. We want to avoid that whenever possible.
- Mystery redemptions: Most collectors I speak to tend to have mixed feelings on these programs, usually their feeling on it is tied directly to the random player they ultimately receive. Having some groups of redemptions listed as a “mystery” helps us by producing less redemption cards than we have cards outstanding for and then seeing who returns the cards back first. Once we have enough in we can begin fulfilling to fans and cut ties with the others who haven’t signed yet. This reduces situations where a collector is waiting over six months for a redemption card to be fulfilled.
- Autograph labels: A lot of manufactures use label cards because they are just really easy to execute, but we have heard loud and clear collectors do not like them. While they do help in reducing the potential for redemptions, they give the feel of a less quality product. Upper Deck avoids using autograph labels on higher-end products, but they do have a use in more mainstream releases and products with lower price points.
- Seasoned athlete relations team: Upper Deck has ramped up the company’s athlete relations team over the last year in particular and has some of the most seasoned employees in the industry running point at working with the company’s stable of athletes. We have cultivated good relationships that are paying dividends with getting cards back from signers.
- Improved turnaround time on items in house: If we have a card available in house, it is our goal to get those cards to customers as quickly as possible. Where that process used to take months, it is now just taking a matter of weeks and at times just days from when a customer redeems as card.
Have these changes really made any difference? They have indeed. Check out these stats on products Upper Deck has released with zero autograph redemptions redeemable online over the last four years and see the different these changes have made in the last two years in particular.
Year % of products with 0 auto redemptions
2009 17 of 64 products – 27%
2010 6 of 30 products – 20 %
2011 16 of 30 products – 53%
2012 15 of 31 products – 48%
Worthy of note, in 2011 and again in 2012 six of the products that had redemptions had less than 3% total in the product. So the total amount of redemptions that can be found in those products is incredibly low.
Now does this mean everything is perfect with the company’s redemption programs? Certainly not. There are a myriad of situations that can arise when you handle sending and receiving hundreds of thousands of cards from players all over the world throughout the year. We understand it can be frustrating waiting for your favorite athlete to sign and we will continue to put the pressure on our signers to get their cards back in an expeditious fashion. We also believe there is still room to get better at redemption fulfillment even though huge strides have been made. We felt inclined to share the company has made a drastic improvement however with regard to these programs and fans should expect to see more of that.
For reference, here is a list of the products going back to 2009 that packed out with zero autograph redemptions redeemable online.
|UD Product Name with Zero Auto Redemptions||Release|
|2008-09 NHL Upper Deck Series 2||2009|
|2008-09 NBA Skybox||2009|
|2009 MLB First Edition||2009|
|2009 Upper Deck Soccer||2009|
|2008-09 NHL O-Pee-Chee Update||2009|
|2008-09 NHL Be-A-Player||2009|
|2009 MLB UDx||2009|
|2009-10 NHL Victory||2009|
|2009-10 NHL Fleer Ultra||2009|
|2009 NFL Upper Deck||2009|
|2009-10 NBA First Edition||2009|
|2009 NFL First Edition||2009|
|2009-10 NHL Artifacts||2009|
|2009-10 NHL Upper Deck Series 1||2009|
|2009 NFL UD Black||2009|
|2009-10 NHL MVP||2009|
|2009-10 NHL Black Diamond||2009|
|2009 USA Baseball Box Set||2010|
|2009 Iron Man 2||2010|
|2010 Upper Deck Soccer||2010|
|2010 Sweet Spot Football||2010|
|2010 SPX Football||2010|
|2010-11 NHL O-Pee-Chee||2010|
|2011 Upper Deck World of Sports||2011|
|2010-11 NHL Upper Deck Series 2||2011|
|2011 Upper Deck UNC Basketball||2011|
|2011 Upper Deck Soccer||2011|
|2011 Marvel Beginnings I||2011|
|2011 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball||2011|
|2011 Captain America||2011|
|2011 Marvel Kree Skrull||2011|
|2011-12 NHL Victory||2011|
|2011-12 NHL Artifacts||2011|
|2011112 NHL O-Pee-Chee||2011|
|2011 Upper Deck Oklahoma Football||2011|
|2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series 1||2011|
|2011 UpperDeckUniversity of Texas Football||2011|
|2011 SP Game-Used Soccer||2011|
|2011-12 NHL Black Diamond||2012|
|2012 Upper Deck World of Sports||2012|
|2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series 2||2012|
|2012 Upper Deck Football||2012|
|2012 SP Signature Baseball||2012|
|2011 USA Football Box Set||2012|
|2012 Marvel Beginnings II||2012|
|2012-13 NHL O-Pee-Chee||2012|
|2012 Upper Deck Alabama Football||2012|
|2012-13 NHL Upper Deck Series 1||2012|
|2012 All-Time Greats Multi-Sport||2012|
|2012-13 NHL Black Diamond||2012|
|2012 Marvel Beginnings III||2012|
|2012 USA Football Box Set||2012|
Insurers estimate that nearly $1 billion is racked up in homeowners insurance claims every year, with the average cost of a single claim coming to about $2,500. Depending on what you own and the limits of your particular homeowners insurance policy, you could face even bigger losses on your own if you haven’t properly insured your sports memorabilia collection. You’ve worked hard to build a valuable collection, so follow these three easy steps to make sure you’re properly protecting it:
Make sure you’re covered
Your collection is always at risk to be damaged in a natural disaster or stolen during a burglary. As the north east coast learned with Hurricane Sandy last year, a natural disaster can strike out of nowhere. And more than 2 million home burglaries were reported in 2011 alone. If you were to experience such a loss, would you be reimbursed for the full value of your collection? Take a look at your homeowners insurance policy, and pay close attention to the property and contents coverage limits. Remember that policies often limit the amount that will be paid for collectibles. For example, many policies will limit the payout for a sports card collection at $200. Compare that figure to the estimated value of your collection. If the difference is hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you’d better invest in some additional coverage.
There are a couple of options for increasing your homeowners insurance to cover your valuable collection. You could schedule an endorsement on your existing policy to extend your current limits. You could also seek out a specialized insurance company with experience and expertise in appraising and insuring card collections, and purchase a separate policy. Regardless of how you decide to extend your coverage, make sure you’ve got enough to handle your losses in case your collection is ever stolen, damaged or perish the thought; destroyed.
Create an inventory
A detailed inventory of your collection serves two purposes: One, it’s an easy way to figure out exactly what you’ve got and how much your collection is worth. Two, it’s the best way to prove to your insurance company exactly what you’re owed in case you ever have to file a claim. Here’s how to document your cards:
- Take photos of each card individually, highlighting the condition of the color, paper stock and edges. In this day and age you can also take video which can be helpful in showing where (and how) you have your valuables stored.
- Write a brief description including estimated value, condition and any special features of each card.
- Store photos and descriptions of your collection together in a fireproof box, safety deposit box or other safe location, and send a copy to your insurance company. You can keep them all on a flash drive, just make sure you put it somewhere safe. Make it an annual practice to update it with items you’ve added or traded/sold.
Once you’ve followed these steps, it’s much easier to prove to your insurance provider exactly what you’re owed if you ever experience a loss.
Protect your collection
Even if you have top-notch insurance coverage, it’s important for you to take steps to keep your collection as safe as possible. Make sure you’ve purchased the proper supplies, such as penny sleeves, top-loaders or hard cases to help protect your cards from harmful contaminants. Keep your collection out of the sun and out of humidity to help prevent curling or fading. If you are in an area where flooding can occur, make sure you store your cards high in waterproof containers. If fire is a concern, get a fireproof storage device for your most prized cards. You can always tell your spouse you are getting it for your birth certificates, passports and other important documents. If you want even more peace of mind about the safety of your collection, store it in a safe deposit box at a trusted bank.
If you have any concerns about your valuable card collection, contact a licensed insurance agent. Whether you choose to go through your current provider or a specialized company, it’s important to protect what you have worked so hard to build. This is your passion, invest in keeping it safe.
This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism.
It’s a new year which means it is time to make new years resolutions. Working in the sports industry I frequently see amazing memorabilia items that I would love to add to my man cave, but I just say to myself, “someday.”
Let’s make this the year we drop the hammer and make the move by resolving to add one great sports memorabilia item to our collections from Upper Deck Authenticated. Let’s save up, plan and make “someday” happen in 2013! And we are going to reward five (5) of you who best share what item you would like to add to your collection. Here’s how it works:
- Take some time and peruse upperdeckstore.com and take a look at all the great items available.
- Pick the Upper Deck Authenticated memorabilia item you would like to add to your collection in 2013.
- Share what that item is in the comment section below and why you would most like to add it to your collection in 2013 by Monday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Please keep it to four sentences or less.
The five collectors who most skillfully craft their four sentences or less to most passionately convey why they want to resolve to add the collectible they describe to their collections in 2013 will be awarded with a FREE 2013 Upper Deck Authenticated calendar. These high-quality, full-sized calendars are not available in stores and feature a beautiful image of a different UDA memorabilia piece for all twelve months of 2013. Also you will find athlete birthdays, keys sports dates and trade show information included in the calendar. This is a must-have for the die-hard sports fan.
It is FREE to participate in the promotion and which five collectors who will receive the calendars right here on Monday afternoon! Upper Deck Authenticated brings collectors the world’s greatest memorabilia. Which piece do you most want to add to your collection this year?
Recently Upper Deck announced the first-ever Collector’s Choice Awards where fans could vote on their favorite Upper Deck products and program of 2012. The voting took place at the close of 2012 and we are happy to share the results at this time. And even in the midst of a lockout with the NHL, it is clear that hockey fans are passionate about their Upper Deck NHL collectibles. Hockey was the big winner in this year’s awards. Thanks to all our fans who took the time to vote! Take a look at the winner!
Autographed Rookie Card of the Year
Winner: 2011-12 NHL The Cup Autograph Patch Ryan Nugent Hopkins – Not much to argue about here. He lived up to the hype and did it in a great hockey market in Edmonton. He did some amazing things in the 2011-12 NHL season and most believe the best is yet to come for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
1st Runner Up: 2011 Exquisite Collection Football Autograph Patch Cam Newton – AlthoughCam went through a bit of a sophomore slump, he finished the season strong. His Exquisite Collection rookie is one of the most sought-after Cam Newton rookie cards in the industry and just looking at it, you can see why fans would want to have it in their collection.
2nd Runner Up: 2012 Upper Deck Football Ultimate Collection Autograph Robert Griffin III – He was the Heisman Trophy winner and has now led the Washington Redskins to the postseason. Robert Griffin III is simply must-watch television and his collectibles are all in high-demand, especially this hard-signed beauty from 2012 Upper Deck Football.
Unsigned Rookie Card of the Year
Winner: 2011-12 NHL Ice Premieres Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – The Nuge is Huge! And no unsigned rookie card of RNH was in more demand than his 2011-12 NHL ICE rookie card.
1st Runner Up: 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Young Guns Gabriel Landeskog – Landeskog beat out Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the Calder and because of that collectors have been grabbing his collectibles whether they are signed or unsigned. This is a must-have card for any Landeskog collector.
2nd Runner Up: 2011 SP Game-Used Soccer Authentic Rookies Alex Morgan – She is beautiful and young, but most importantly, she is one heck of a soccer player who has performed amazing on the biggest stage. This could likely become one of the most important rookie cards for a female athlete in the years to come.
Trading Card of the Year
Winner: 2010-11 NHL The Cup Dual Signature Patches Sidney Crosby/Mario Lemieux (inserted in the 2011-12 NHL The Cup product) – Crosby collectors have been waiting for the day whenSidney would sign with another player. Upper Deck was the first company to make that happen and collectors loved it. These very limited cards featuring autographs of Crosby and Mario Lemieux are in huge demand any time they pop up!
1st Runner Up: 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball 97-98 E/X Jambalaya Michael Jordan – It was one of the most talked about cards of the year and the auction got some mainstream attention because the price on the card climbed to over $29,000. It was truly an incredible collectible!
2nd Runner Up: 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball Precious Metal Gems Red Michael Jordan – The Precious Metal Gems cards have been a huge hit with collectors and there is no doubt the top subject to pull was Michael Jordan. These extremely popular cards have commanded some huge $$$ in the secondary market and it is a trend that we expect to see continue in the future.
Most Innovative Card/Set of the Year
Winner: 2011-12 NHL Black Diamond Championship Rings – Upper Deck shared mock up images of what these cards would look like that generated some good initial buzz, but it wasn’t until these cards actually hit the market that collectors realized just how stunning they were. They have become a very popular and obviously by the voting here, they are the favorite Upper Deck set of the year for collectors.
1st Runner Up: 2012-13 NHL O-Pee-Chee Team Logo Patches – The set had a simple concept that was executed very well and since the cards had different rarity levels, O-Pee-Chee collectors finally has a set they wanted to chase with the Team Logo Patches.
2nd Runner Up: 2012 Goodwin Champions “It Came From Space” Meteorite Cards – There really has never been a trading card like these before where fans can collect artifacts with some of the oldest material in the solar system contained within.
Memorabilia/Relic Card/Set of the Year
Winner: 2011-12 NHL The Cup Property Of – Pulling a card with the nameplate from game-used sticks of some of the best players in the game is certainly a thrill. It is not a new concept for Upper Deck collectors, but it remains one of their favorites as voting shows here.
1st Runner Up: 2012 Goodwin Champions Museum Collection Civil War Artifacts – These cards were definitely something new and unique for collectors and they seemed to appreciate the quality artifacts used in the program. It’s not every day you can open a pack of cards and pull a piece of United States history from the packs. And with the success of the movie, “Lincoln,” demand for these types of cards remains high.
2nd Runner Up: 2012-13 NHL Artifacts Tundra Trios Tags – These cards are just extremely cool and to purchase a mid-range pack and have the opportunity to pull a card like these is pretty exciting.
Insert Set of the Year (No Auto/No Memorabilia)
Winner: 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball Precious Metal Gems – It is clear that basketball fans have been really missing these cards since some of them were selling for more than the price of a car. They remain on just about every hot list and that is likely not to change any time soon.
1st Runner Up: 2012-13 NHL Upper Deck Series One Day with the Cup – These cards showed collector’s favorite players off the ice celebrating their day with the Cup. They have been seen as a breath of fresh air in the industry and because of their rarity levels, they remain high in demand.
2nd Runner Up: 2012-13 NHL Upper Deck Series One Canvas Young Guns – Upper Deck’s Young Guns rookie cards are a beloved collectible so to have a more premium version was an idea that really resonated with collectors. More than a few went all out to try to put together the entire Canvas set.
Hobby Product of the Year
Winner: 2011-12 NHL The Cup – For several years now it has been the product to break. Every hockey collector often thinks about what it would be like to open up a pack of The Cup. And Upper Deck makes the product a compelling break every year with great content and plenty of desirable chase elements.
1st Runner Up: 2011-12 Fleer Retro Basketball – Without a doubt it has been one of the most popular basketball releases of the year. With a limited production run and some amazing content, Fleer Retro Basketball was a huge success for Upper Deck this season.
2nd Runner Up: 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Sports Edition – It is certainly not a product for everyone, but those collectors who love premium, hard-signed autograph cards of the top sports stars in the world sure seem to like All-Time Greats.
Retail Product of the Year
Winner: 2012-13 NHL Upper Deck Series One – It is one of the most popular mainstream sports card releases every year. It is a set that collectors just have to put together. And it was the runaway winner in this category.
1st Runner Up: 2011-12 NHL Upper Deck Series Two – Not surprisingly Series Two was the second most popular retail product of the year. With great content and lots of value, collectors enjoy putting together the Upper Deck set each year.
2nd Runner Up: 2012 Goodwin Champions – Goodwin Champions is a different type of product that is just oozing with awesome content. It was great to see it continue to be a favorite with collectors!
Most Improved Product of the Year
Winner: 2012-13 NHL Artifacts – With incredibly compelling memorabilia cards and meaningful parallels, it is no surprise that Artifacts was deemed the most improved product of the year.
1st Runner Up: 2012 Goodwin Champions – New for 2012 were the painted 1888 original art cards, the Civil War Memorabilia and the “It Came From Space” Meteorite cards. Collectors had plenty of new content to enjoy in Goodwin Champions.
2nd Runner Up: 2012 SPx Football – The Shadowbox Slots cards were an innovative new insert set that created a fair amount of buzz for this product. Enhancements like that to the product helped it be one of the most improved of the year!
Marketing Program of the Year
Winner: National Hockey Card Day – It is one of the greatest days of the year for collectors where they can get a FREE pack of hockey cards from a participating Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer. Don’t miss National Hockey Card Day when it returns in February, 2013!
1st Runner Up: Expired Redemption Raffle – It can be very frustrating to pull an expired redemption card, but now with the Expired Redemption Raffle collectors can exchange their expired cards for the opportunity to get some sweet collectibles!
2nd Runner Up: Cards2Kids Charity Partnership – We all agree that kids are the future. Cards2Kids is a fantastic non-profit organization that specializes in getting cards back in the hands of kids who otherwise would not have the opportunity to collect them.