Innovation Meets Reputation: Upper Deck and Hunt Auctions Join Forces

Two industry powerhouses unite to create ultimate marketplace destination for vintage sports memorabilia collectors!

Honesty, integrity and authenticity. These adjectives describe a pair of established sports memorabilia companies that have cemented their reputations based on the fact that they sell only autographed and game-used articles that are guaranteed authentic. Peace of mind for their customer base is of utmost importance to both the Carlsbad-based Upper Deck Company and Hunt Auctions, out of Exton, Pennsylvania. And by sharing that philosophy, the two industry giants have decided to lock arms in order to provide “the ultimate marketplace for high-end vintage sports memorabilia,” according to Dan Schmidt, Upper Deck’s auctions manager.

Hunt Auctions has sold some of the world’s most coveted sports artifacts, from Babe Ruth’s inaugural 1933 All-Star Game home run baseball ($805,000) to Lou Gehrig’s game-worn Yankees uniform from the 1938 World Series ($402,000). From Joe DiMaggio’s 1947 AL Most Valuable Player Award plaque ($281,750) to Ty Cobb’s 1928 Philadelphia Athletics autographed game-worn home jersey ($236,000). So by acquiring Hunt Auctions and its incredible inventory of vintage sports pieces, Upper Deck will now have an even wider assortment of memorabilia items – chronicling decades of the sports world’s most glorious players and moments – to showcase to its most passionate sports fans.

“This is an exciting partnership of two great companies,” said Tim Muret, Upper Deck’s vice president of Sports Cards and Memorabilia. “And the greatest beneficiaries of this will be the vintage sports memorabilia fans. We’re excited about exposing our regular collector base to these high-end, cherished pieces, some of which go back to the turn of the twentieth century.”

With nearly 20 years in the sports card market and 16 years in the sports memorabilia business, Upper Deck boasts a stellar track record of producing innovative and awe-inspiring collectibles. By combining its expertise in product launches with the experience and longstanding distinction that Hunt Auctions brings to the table, Upper Deck officials are excited to say the least about what the future can bring.

“We are enhancing the hallmark of Upper Deck’s longstanding reputation for guaranteed authenticity through the addition of Hunt Auctions,” said Schmidt. “Authenticity is guaranteed. The combination of the Upper Deck brand with the expertise and reputation of Hunt Auctions provides for an unequalled presence within the industry.

“We’re doing the legwork for the consumer. What we’re selling is real and you can trust us. The same way collectors have trusted Upper Deck trading cards and Upper Deck Authenticated memorabilia for the past two decades.”

Particulars of the arrangement are still being finessed, but auction services (live and online) will remain with Hunt. However, the assortment of vintage sports memorabilia pieces that will be available at Upper Deck’s online retail store (www.uppedeckstore.com) and its soon-to-be-opened storefront location in Huntington Beach, California, will grow exponentially.

“We are very much looking forward to this incredible union of two industry leaders,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions. “I feel confident that the synergy between the Upper Deck brand and its reputation for excellence with Hunt Auctions and its tradition of integrity and quality is a natural fit. There is no question that this unique combination promises to further both Upper Deck and Hunt Auctions respective leadership within the industry.”

The partnering of the two powers will also deliver better results to consignors utilizing Hunt Auctions to sell their authentic, cherished sports relics. While Upper Deck has explored many different ways to enter the sports auction marketplace, it believes that Hunt’s already established platform is the best strategy to round out an already impressive distribution model. This marriage includes the fact that vintage items will be available at Upper Deck’s retail sites throughout the year in addition to the traditional, orchestrated auction efforts.