NASCAR licensing VP: No new card deal yet

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

NASCAR has five Cup races in the record books so far this season — and the racing organization’s chase to land a replacement for Press Pass continues.

Blake Davidson, NASCAR’s Vice President of Licensing and Consumer Products, told Beckett Media in an email on Tuesday that the organization is getting closer to securing a deal with a future trading card licensee.

“Closing in, but still not quite there,” Davidson said. “Will keep you posted.”

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As it stands right now, the sport isn’t without new cardboard for this year — Press Pass’ final release was its 2015 flagship set released before it closed its doors on Jan. 5. The move came after 22 years in cardboard and the company had been NASCAR’s sole trading-card licensee for several years.

Last month, Davidson said NASCAR was talking with a few companies and considering its options.

Of current trading-card manufacturers, only two have previously issued NASCAR cards. Upper Deck created sets from 1995 to 2000, while Topps tried with eTopps in 2003. Rittenhouse produced a card set for the Indy Racing League back in 2007.

Panini America has not produced NASCAR cards, but the Action Packed and Pinnacle/Score brands that were produced throughout the 1990s are part of its portfolio. Panini also recently hired Press Pass’ former VP of Operations, Nick Matijevich, to work in product development. Matijevich built NFL products for Donruss/Playoff while working for the company from 2000 to 2005 before he moved to Press Pass.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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5 comments

  1. MICHAEL RUNYON 17 March, 2015 at 15:37

    This sounds promising but we will see. I am still betting on Pannini and think they can do the best job at getting cards in new collectors hands. I could see them at the daytona 500 in 2016. I wish whoever gets the license could bring back the 88 maxx design and continue with the press pass hof cards.

  2. larry robidoux 17 March, 2015 at 16:32

    It’s a tough call because Upper Deck did make some nice cards but also if Panini has Action Packed they also made some nice cards(textured metal).. I think it all depends on what kind of product Nascar wants out in the market..

  3. Mike 9 July, 2015 at 22:42

    Sure do miss purchasing NASCAR Cards. Always thought Press Pass had some of the nicest Memorabilia and Autograph cards. Always came thru on any “Redemptions” which I thought was big ! I’d rather see Upper Deck do something than Panini. I’ve had some “Action Packed” of old with the “Embossed” style and hated it ! Terrible cards ! Upper Deck had on other hand had nice pictures and designs.

  4. ivan 14 July, 2015 at 10:32

    i really miss those cards,i think topps needs that chance there very dependable,we need some one very quick,were missing out,theres alot to produce.

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