Archive for Soccer

It’s Throwback Thursday so let’s go back through Upper Deck’s trading card history and come up with a fun giveaway. The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ is in full swing and so far it has been a lot of fun to watch! The USA has won their first game, Chile eliminated Spain (the defending champions) and this morning Columbia takes on Ivory Coast in their first ever clash. It has been some time since Columbia has had someone like Carlos Valderrama on their team; as the most capped player in the country’s history! So let’s put up a throwback card and see if our fans can come up with some great captions for the card! Please share your comical caption to this card for your opportunity to score three game-used material soccer cards!


Important Promotion Guidelines:

  1. You can only submit one comment per email address so think about it before you post.
  2. Comments are moderated so keep them clean and in good taste as we have a lot of youngsters on these pages. Comments deemed inappropriate will not be posted or eligible to score card set(s).
  3. Make sure to review other caption before you post. If you have the same comment as someone else or make slight improvements to it, the credit will go to the first person who posted the comment.
  4. You have until Friday morning, June 20 at 8:00 a.m. PT to post your caption before this promotion is closed.
  5. Upper Deck will review the captions posted and select one (1) fan who most skillfully share a comical comment to coincide with this card.
  6. Only the customer selected to receive the card set will be contacted via email, so please make sure to provide an accurate email address when you leave your comment.
Categories : Products, Soccer
Comments (35)

For trading cards most collectors commonly refer to their trusty Beckett guides to find the prices on their favorite sports cards. For memorabilia however, finding out what the item you have is worth can be a little more difficult. Beckett has done away with their “Beckett Elite” guide which covered a lot of auction house memorabilia. Also gone are features in “Beckett Sports Card Monthly” publication on memorabilia. And while they are still contemplating getting back to providing analysis on this major aspect of the hobby, there is nothing set in stone as of yet. This leaves collectors in a quandary in terms of what the best ways are to find the value and price on their autographed sports memorabilia items.


Collectors no longer have a well-known price guide for memorabilia now that “Beckett Elite” is gone.

When fans are looking for the value on something I hate when someone says in response, “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” Well obviously that’s true, but certainly there have to be tools that let me know what something like this is currently selling for and how many “someones” may be interested in it. We probed customers, talked to partners and discussed tactics with internal staff to come up with the best ways to find values on sports memorabilia and here are some of the best resources we found to check values on memorabilia.

Completed Auctions on eBay

  • You can get real time, up to date pricing on what similar memorabilia items are selling for.
  • Quick and painless way to get a fell for value.


  • It usually doesn’t really give you a feel for the difference in price between authentication brands. For example a UDA Tiger Woods autograph 8×10 would have a premium value to a Tiger Woods 8×10 that was signed at a golf tournament and then authenticated.
  • It doesn’t really give you a feel for an apples to apples comparison and as most items are different, especially with regard to condition, that can cause discrepancies on your self-appraisal of the piece.
  • Platform tends to have a flea market or garage sale type feel on the memorabilia side with lots of odd items that quality pieces are lost with and frequently that leads to a lower sale price. People are generally willing to sell items here for a loss over a traditional store environment which cheapens the likely true value of a piece.
  • Many people are hesitant about making a major purchase for memorabilia on eBay as they want to work directly with the manufacturer or re-seller so with less bids, comes lesser prices and a deflated evaluation.

Visit your Local Card Shop

  • This is the route I would take because you are really dealing with the experts who live in this world day in and day out. Make sure to visit an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer so you know you are working with a partner who is knows quality memorabilia items.
  • By working with a local shop, you have the benefit of taking into account which region you are in. For example, a Brett Favre UDA autograph piece is going to sell better in Wisconsin than it would Florida. These shops get that and realize how much of a different that is to the value.
  • They may be able to assist you in a sale or trade as they know a lot of customers, including ones who might be interested in the piece. You may also be able to work out a consignment deal with them where they show the piece off in their store and if it sells at a price you agree to, you can in turn share a small cut of the sale with them.


  • You do have to lug the piece to a hobby shop so make sure you are careful during the transportation of the item. There would be nothing worse than taking it to get a feel for the price and damaging it along the way. Additionally, make sure to call ahead to see if there is someone at the shop at that time who could help with an appraisal like this.

Go to a Show

  • Larger shows like the National Sports Collectors Convention have a ton of auction houses in attendance running a ton of auctions and they also have autograph pavilions where you can get a feel for what athletes are charging for their signature. Maybe take some photos of your items and just ask around as every major expert is there!


  • This may actually be the best way to do it, but the big problem is these larger shows are usually just 1-2 times per year and there is significant costs tied to traveling to them and getting tickets.

Tens of thousands of collectors visit shows like the National each year and one of the reasons is to get a good feel for the value of their collectibles from the industry experts in attendance.

Comparative Shop through Sites Upper Deck’s Online Store

  • It gives you a good feel to see what the current retail price is on memorabilia items.
  • There is usually a strong variety of items to give you a feel for the value.


  • You are not going to find older items on these sites usually.
  • The pricing you see doesn’t take into account special promotions the company’s may run which may decrease the price a bit more.

Auction Houses

  • These usually are a very good resource as there are usually a lot of “lots” sold that you can use to get a feel for current market values.


  • There are so many auctions and auction sites, it can be very overwhelming trying to find a similar item in all these sales.
  • They will usually talk up the sales of a few pieces that brought big bucks, but finding details on every sale can require a little more digging based on the company.
  • Their main focus is creating excitement for new auctions so there are not always a focus with these companies on creating a historical database of what items sold for.

PSA’s Sports Market Report – This is one of the better platforms I have actually used myself. We talked to Steve Sloan who is the director of marketing at Collector’s Universe about their platform and he had this to say:

“PSA’s Sports Market Report, or SMR, is built upon data derived from direct submissions, private sales and actual auction results, making it a great compass for both buyers and sellers in determining market values for PSA-certified items. Plus, as an added bonus, we’ve provided links to actual, live eBay auctions into our listings so collectors can have direct access to ‘real time’ pricing.”


  • It’s a free platform and is very user friendly.
  • You can see real time auctions easily.
  • It gives you a good immediate feel for price on items signed by particular athletes.
  • Did we mention it is free?


  • It doesn’t show everything unfortunately. So more unique pieces may leave you still scratching your head.

And that really is the biggest problem collectors face when they have really unique pieces they are trying to get pricing on. Collectibles that are extremely limited or 1-of-1 type items can be very difficult to price because you just don’t know how many people may be in the market for something like what you have. This is especially true when it comes to collectibles from Upper Deck Authenticated because producing innovative and different items is what we do best. Therefore, comparing items like these to a 16×20 photo or jersey is not an apples to apples comparison and premium value should be given to collectibles that are limited and unique like these.


It’s difficult to put a value on something like a signed Tiger Woods hand-print because it is just so different and only offered to fans by Upper Deck Authenticated.


You might find the value for a LeBron James ball and then a Dwyane Wade ball, but just adding that up doesn’t really give you a fair value on what this piece is worth. It is very rare to have an item signed by both players that is authenticated as well.


Upper Deck’s “The Show” pieces can’t really be compared to other photographs because of how big the signature is and the three-dimensional quality to the piece.


And again, Upper Deck Authenticated uses top designers to create extremely compelling imagery that is different from other collectibles in the market so it is more desirable to collectors.

I know for sure there are more resources than this, but would love to here from you on what you use to get a feel for values and pricing on memorabilia. Let us know what you use in the comment section below.

Comments (4)

Never have I seen so many appreciative fans come by Upper Deck’s corporate booth on Sunday of the National Sports Collectors Convention to say, “Thank you.” But then again, never has Upper Deck, or perhaps any manufacturer, made such a concerted effort to engage collectors so thoroughly at this annual show. Upper Deck’s president Jason Masherah challenged the team attending to go all out to make sure our worldwide fans know that not only are we the most innovative trading card manufacturer, but we bring that innovation and excitement to activities at the show as well. The team came through with flying colors by providing thousands of collectors with an incredibly memorable experience.

It all began by making news honoring John Makowiec, the founder of Cards2Kids Charity with his very own “Heroic Inspirations” trading card. Upper Deck also provided the charity with space at the company’s corporate booth and over the weekend the received in tens of thousands of cards from generous collectors. All these will go to good use as they are repackaged and distributed to deserving kids through charity organizations.


Members of John’s family were in attendance as UD’s Chris Carlin presented him with his “Heroic Inspirations” card at the VIP party at the National.

It was important to us to let collectors know they are important to the company and we care about them. To do that we put together a variety of interactive activities that everyone at the show thoroughly enjoyed. And because of that the Upper Deck booth was constantly buzzing with activity.


The Upper Deck booth at the National was absolutely packed all weekend long!

First up was the Fleer Retro case breaker promotion where we came up with 25 awesome prizes for customers interested in breaking a full case of the most recent Fleer Retro brands for basketball, hockey and football. Little did we know the promotion would be so popular that 25 customers would break cases at the Upper Deck booth Wednesday night effectively selling out the promotion. We scrambled that night to come up with more prizing and were able to deliver 16 more prizes to extend the program, but again, fans flocked to it and another 16 cases were busted before noon on Thursday. Not only did collectors love their pulls from the product, they also appreciated the opportunity to own some additional cool promotional items from top Upper Deck athletes.


Excited Fleer Retro case breakers were fired up for the opportunity to break the product together and earn great prizes!


The foil was flying as over 40 cases of Fleer Retro were busted in the first 24 hours of the show!


And many were rewarded for their breaks by pulling awesome inserts like this Wayne Gretzky one-of-one buyback autograph card.


Breakers earned rare prizes like this blow-up ticket from the 2013 NHL Draft signed by every 1st round pick!


Another exciting item up for grabs were the framed autograph matted photos from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase events.

The biggest event for Upper Deck at the show however was the daily wrapper redemption program which allowed collectors of every level to walk away with a special set Upper Deck created specifically for the National Sports Collectors Convention just by purchasing a few packs. Unlike some manufacturers who cut costs by not printing very many of their sets, causing them to look at bringing on security to deal with the collectors upset with the experience, Upper Deck planned ahead by producing enough packs to meet the demand and have them available for several hours each day before selling out. Upper Deck also improved the experience by having two fulfillment stations which expedited the process and reduced wait times for our fans.


Fans were fired up to take part in UD’s daily wrapper redemption program.


UD had two fulfillment stations to keep lines moving quickly for fans so they could get their sets and enjoy everything else the National offered.

And to top that off, Upper Deck also loaded these packs with random autograph cards from the biggest players in baseball, basketball, hockey and golf. There were several times over the weekend where collector’s hands were shaking after they pulled a rare autograph card from a top Upper Deck spokesman from packs. It was just awesome!


This youngster was thrilled to pull and Animal Kingdom patch card from his Goodwin Champions packs and a Ken Griffey Jr. autograph card from his National wrapper redemption pack!


Collectors had ear-to-ear smiles after pulling limited edition autograph card from the daily wrapper redemption packs.


And there were big pulls from the packs as well like this LeBron James autograph card a father shared with his son!

A major initiative for Upper Deck was to continue our efforts in running marketing activities at the booth geared towards kids. Each day we hosted a decoy toss tournament with kids that they really enjoyed. The friendly competition had big crowds of kids gathered either participating or rooting on their favorite players. They loved being able to win a variety of Upper Deck packs and prizes as well!


Kids loved going head to head to see who had the best touch at tossing decoy cards!

One of the best kids programs we ran at the National Sports Collectors Convention was the “Draw Your Own Trading Card Station” where we provided kids with markers and blank cards to create their own original Upper Deck trading cards. The program was such a success that we donated the table to a Chicago area hobby shop so they could continue engaging youth with this fun activity all year long. Since they are the future of this hobby, it is the responsibility of every trading card manufacture to work to earn their future business by engaging them now.


Kids got a real thrill out of designing their own Upper Deck trading cards. Who knows, maybe one of these youngsters will end up working for our design team someday!


A proud young artist shows off her custom creation!

Upper Deck recently launched a Notre Dame Football product so given the fact the show took place in such close proximity to South Bend, Indiana, it was important we run some Notre Dame oriented promotions there. And what better way to do that than to give everyone a free pack? Sports fans in attendance were offered a free pack of Notre Dame football cards and then we ran a pack war event where we asked questions about the cards and those who had the cards the question involved won prizes. The top four advanced to a Notre Dame cornhole toss tournament where young, old and everyone in between had fun competing for ND themed prizes.


Upper Deck’s Notre Dame pack war events were a huge draw with collectors, especially considering how close we were to the University of Notre Dame.


The top four finalists moved on to a Notre Dame cornhole toss tournament.


Winners received sealed boxes and autograph cards.

One of the more unique events of the week was Upper Deck’s “Signature Challenge” event where we put collectors through the paces of what it is like for professional athletes to provide us with hard-signed autograph cards. Five competitors were given a limited time frame to sign 25 blank cards, but what they were not told is that each signature would be judged and cards with ink smearing, skipped signatures or inconsistent autographs would be disqualified. This is something we actually do with athletes we work with. The winner was the person who provided us with the most quality autographs in that time period. It was an eye opening and fun experience for collectors that drew big crowds each day.


Competitors in UD’s “Signature Challenge” promotion got to feel what it is like for athletes to sign for the trading card giant.

The most popular event of the weekend however was the free daily raffles where we gave away hundreds of prizes to collectors in attendance over the weekend. Up for grabs were cool collectibles like signed pucks, baseballs, trading cards, sealed boxes and much more. These giveaways provided fans with a lot of excitement and were a really good way to say thank you to everyone in attendance for their support of Upper Deck.


UD’s free raffles drew hundreds of fans each day!


This happy fan scored a free UDA signed puck!


This youngster was fired up to take home a Notre Dame blow-up card!

It can be frustrating for collectors who purchase older Upper Deck sealed wax to pull an expired redemption card. We have shared before why redemption cards cannot be honored forever, but we have done our due diligence to provide collectors with a fun option should they pull one of these expired offers through UD’s Expired Redemption Raffle. Collectors do not need to be at the show to participate, but many where. For those not in attendance who had their names drawn, you can expect an UD mail day in the coming weeks. See how it went down:

Upper Deck works with some of the most notable athletes on the planet exclusively through Upper Deck Authenticated and we brought out an awesome assortment of signed memorabilia to the show for sports fans to peruse. With a variety of show specials, they sold quickly and many fans were thrilled to have a bevy of new items to decorate their man caves with.


Gabe Garcia from UDA was interviewed by ESPN regarding the awesome collectibles offered at the show including a coffee table made using a large section of authentic floor from the United Center Floor.

One of the more unique events of the weekend was Upper Deck’s “What’s the Big Idea?” promotion. As we embark on the company’s 25th anniversary in 2014, we wanted to solicit fans at the biggest trade show of the year for what they would like to see from Upper Deck over our next 25 years of operation. Up for grabs was a LeBron James autograph poster for the top idea, but more importantly perhaps, two passes for the top two collectors to Upper Deck’s Diamond Club Reception on Saturday. The top two idea men made their pitch to attendees at that Saturday event and they voted on their favorite. When it was all said and done, Michael Markovich bested them all with his idea of city-themed autograph cards using athletes from a variety of sports. We’ll see if something like that makes it into a new Upper Deck set.

And speaking of the Diamond Club Reception, those who earned a pass to this event have been talking about it almost non-stop since it ended. Guests were treated to outstanding food and drink at Gibson’s Steakhouse while they got the opportunity to get to know some of the biggest collectors in the industry. Instead of shelling out big bucks to bring in athletes who guests may get a couple minutes with, we invested rather in some incredibly compelling collectibles that these VIP’s could have forever. Awesome items were handed out in a steady fashion for almost 2½ hours leading up to the Main Event Raffle for 25 incredible items that everyone in the room was drooling over.


Those lucky enough to earn an invitation to the Diamond Club Reception will likely remember it for some time!

And then there were the surprises where Upper Deck continued to look for ways to let collectors know how much we appreciate them. Like creating a special blow-up card for one of Robert Griffin III’s biggest fans; Sergio Dubois.


One of RGIII’s biggest fans is surprised with a super unique collectible courtesy of UD.

We also surprised this youngster wearing a Chicago Blackhawks shirt with a FREE Upper Deck Stanley Cup Box Set! Both he and his father were thrilled.


It’s important to engage youngsters with new products to help develop the next generation of collectors.

Or on the last day of the show where we surprised fans with an announcement that we would take every collector who was interested over for free ice cream because let’s face it, nothing is cooler than collecting Upper Deck.


After a long week at the National, we decided to treat collectors to ice cream!

But what about those fans that couldn’t make it out to the biggest sports collectibles show of the year? How can we let them know we value and appreciate them? Well, for starters we brought back some complete sets of the wrapper redemption sets to use with fans around the world who missed the National. For your chance to score one of these complete 20-card sets for FREE, we are going to have a skills-based giveaway open to fans that provide us with their best big idea on what innovative new trading card sets they would like to see Upper Deck produce over our next 25 years. Your idea much be at least three sentences long, but no longer than 12 sentences. You should make it about what innovation you would like to see UD bring to trading cards rather than things already on our radar like licensing acquisition or reducing redemptions in products. Make sure to include your shipping information and you can email your big idea here. The top ten ideas will be selected on Monday, August 12, 2013 to receive a special UD National Sports Collectors Convention set.

Additionally, we will be making some of the more premium items from the show available to the Upper Deck Volunteer Alliance. This organization is free to join and members are given missions throughout the year they are not obligated to participate in. Those who do participate however are eligible to earn mail days with exciting trading cards and collectibles found inside. Here are more details on how you can join the Upper Deck Volunteer Alliance.

Thanks again to all the fans who joined UD at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention. We look forward to seeing many of you again at the 2014 show in Cleveland, Ohio!


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After taking a brief hiatus from the game of soccer, Landon Donovan returned to Team USA and delivered an amazing performance throughout the 2013 CONCACAF tournament helping him win the Gold Cup Most Valuable Player award. Team USA defeated Panama 1-0 on Sunday to extend the team’s record winning steak to 11 games. And throughout, Donovan was clearly the best on the field for any team.


Donovan finished the tournament with 18 career Gold Cup goals and seven goals in 2013 to lead the team. Donovan reaffirms his position as America’s greatest soccer star.


Upper Deck is the only place to score autograph trading cards of Landon Donovan.

And only Upper Deck can bring collectors autographed trading cards and memorabilia of this global icon through our exclusive agreement with him. New collectibles celebrating Donovan’s amazing career are in the works, but supporters of Team USA are invited to check out some of the awesome items available through Upper Deck’s online store now!


Donovan supporters have proven to be some of the most passionate fans who will go to great lengths to procure items signed by the star. Take a look at this interview we did with one such fan at last year’s National Sports Collectors Convention.

Categories : Products, Soccer
Comments (0)

Upper Deck’s 2013 Goodwin Champions product is set to arrive in stores on Tuesday, July 16. Upper Deck has gone all out to include a variety of compelling new personalities to the set along with existing UD superstars to make the autograph and memorabilia hits super exciting for fans.


2013 Goodwin Champions arrives in stores on Tuesday, July 16!

Check out some of the memorabilia cards you’re going to want to chase from the product including a card of Abraham Lincoln that features actual wood from the White House.










The Tony Hawk memorabilia cards will include either a swatch from a event-worn shirt or a piece of an actual event-used skateboard. The dual memorabilia cards will feature the shirt and the skateboard.


Here is a look at the Tony Hawk skateboard we used for the product.


The autograph cards are the big draw with Goodwin Champions for collectors as each is individually hand-signed by the athlete. Take a look at some of the sweet autograph cards you’ll be sure to want to add to your collection!












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