View Full Version : Blog: Upper Deck: When it Rains, it Pours

04-09-2010, 12:54 AM
Itís been a rough year for Upper Deck. First, the fallout from the Tiger Woods scandal, which couldnít have helped sales of exclusive autographs.
There was the lawsuit filed by Konami over counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh cards that ended in a settlement and revealed some less than flattering details about what went on during the process.
Then, Major League Baseball filed suit after Upper Deck used team trademarks on on its first three baseball card products produced this year. That, too, resulted in a settlement in which the company had to pay up.
Late Wednesday came news that the NFL would not be granting UD a license to produce cards this year. It would appear as if Exquisite will be its last NFL trading card productĖat least for awhile.
Itís autograph business may be sound, but taking licensed cards out of the equation canít help that part either.
A resurgence by Tiger could make the companyís move to stick behind him look shrewd, but thereís no guarantee the public will fall in love with Tiger that much again.
Upper Deck still has some coveted exclusive autograph arrangements and its college and NHL card deals as well as an MLBPA license, but overall, itís clearly no longer the force it once was. Thatís sad from a competition standpoint and from a marketing perspective, Upper Deck has probably been the most aggressive of any of the card companies over the last two decades.
What does the latest setback mean for the future? Itís hard to say, but when a company makes its name in sports cards and that part of its business is watered down this much, itís going to take some serious business moxie to keep it relevant.


04-14-2010, 06:12 PM
That's really too bad, you really have to point your fingers at Upper Deck management. For years, they put out much nicer products than their competitors, yet all the major sports are pulling their license, so something is definitely wrong. Hopefully they will focus more on their memorabilia now, as UDA still has a really good name and they have some great guys under contract (Tiger, Jordan, Pujols, etc).