Upper Deck Bounty program to start with 2016-17 SP Authentic Hockey

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Upper Deck Bounty logo

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

Upper Deck recently took a long look at the growing impact of online group breaks and other influencing factors on collecting and the impact they were having on the secondary market values of cards and the long-term impact they were having on the practice of building sets. In response, the company has developed a new idea dubbed the Upper Deck Bounty Program which they hope will bring some fun back to the hobby.

“We feel that for this hobby to continue to grow in a healthy fashion for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years, that for our consumers, whatever we can do as a manufacturer to impact or influence their collecting habits so that they practice what we consider to be healthy collecting habits, which is the opposite of rip-and-flip – actually building sets, working on collections, trading cards – all of this kind of stuff that happened in the 80s and 90s, we have kind of seen that eroding and that’s why we want to push this program,” said Upper Deck’s product development guru Grant Sandground.

Burns

The genesis for the Upper Deck Bounty Program began at the 2016 Industry Summit and Sandground explained how it evolved to a tangible concept.

“At that time, our e-Pack was pretty new and it was pretty controversial. It remains controversial to this day, I get that. It was a hot topic that had a lot of brick & mortar shop owners very concerned that we were trying to cut them out and go directly to the consumer. We had challenged some of the folks at that event to talk about what we could do for e-Pack to help shops. That was a difficult challenge and I sat there myself for weeks afterward and didn’t come up with any great answers.

“In the course of the year after that event, a light went on for a group of us. Internally, we learn stuff from e-Pack every day. We are learning how people are reacting and one of the things we learned is the impact of achievement cards on how people buy cards of e-Pack, trade cards on e-Pack, how they interact with product and interact with each other. Essentially for the collector, they are getting rewarded for building sets, basically, and achieving goals. It has worked extremely well. A light went on and we thought, why aren’t we doing this for brick & mortar?”

Laine

2016-17 SP Authentic, which releases on May 17, is the first product that will be part of an ongoing continuous program called the Upper Deck Bounty Program.

While there was some controversy over 2016-17 SP Authentic being solicited as having just two autographs per box instead of three, there was a new set-within-a-set offered inside packs called Spectrum F/X.

“Every box of SPA is going to have a combination of four autographs or Spectrum F/X cards, with a minimum of two autographs. There are going to be boxes with two autos and two Spectrum F/X or three autos and one Spectrum F/X. We felt that Spectrum F/X was a very important part of this product because that is the set that has the bounty attached to it.”

How does someone breaking packs end up collecting the bounty? Each Spectrum F/X card has an area to scratch off on the back which has a code that can be entered into the Upper Deck Bounty website (www.upperdeckbounty.com) which opened on May 3 and will be used for all future products featuring the program. Collecting all 99 cards that are found in packs will earn a collector card #100 for free – and it is a big one in Calder Trophy favorite Auston Matthews.

The first 40 cards in the set are mostly veterans with a few legends mixed in and come once in every 18 packs. From there, three levels of Future Watch rookies make up the balance. There are 30 Level One rookies (1:36), cards 71 through 90 make up Level Two (1:90), and the last nine cards from Level Three are the toughest to find (1:360).

As a special reward for those that are among the first 50 to build a set of 99 Spectrum F/X cards and enter their codes into the website, they will receive an even greater achievement in the form of a 100-card gold version of the set in addition to their regular Matthews card. They can then choose to have the cards shipped to them for free or transfer them to their Check Out My Cards account. It is advisable that a collector gets all 99 cards before scratching the back to reveal the code. Also, there will be a counter on the website indicating how many gold sets remain.

McDavid

“There are some difficult decisions for people to make to get the bounty, but we wanted the bounty to have some serious implications – sort of like when you went to get an upgraded Connor McDavid Young Guns card, you had to burn through five of them to get that silver foil one.”

What does the future hold for the Upper Deck Bounty Program? There will be at least one major feature added in the coming months that will appeal to those who love to trade.

“By the second release, we’re hoping to have trading up,” said Upper Deck Hockey Brand Manager Boomer Godsill. “Right now, you won’t be able to trade code amongst other collectors to build sets. In the future, we’ll be working on the ability to trade these cards.”

Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey, Beckett Basketball, and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at slaroche@beckett.com or follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.

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15 comments

  1. Paul Angilly 3 May, 2017 at 21:58

    How does this help average collectors? By the odds given, you’d have to buy 720 packs to get all the basic 40 cards, 1,080 packs to get all the Level 1 rookies, 1,800 packs to get all the Level 2 rookies and 3,240 packs to get all the level 3 rookies. At what, $5 a pack? So, that’d be about $16,200 worth of packs to finish the set (based upon just the 3,240 packs for Level 3, assuming you’d also get all the other cards you’d need in those same packs) and get the bonus card. That’s not what I’d consider “healthy collecting habits.”

  2. Thomas 4 May, 2017 at 08:11

    So UD is saying you have to scratch off your cards, thereby damaging your cards, to collect this “bounty”? Did I read that right? Who on earth would damage all their cards to get a token insert?

  3. Richard 5 May, 2017 at 03:31

    Imagine you through the time and expense and scratch those cards only to not get the set.

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 May, 2017 at 18:34

      I suspect that those who are building the set may hold off scratching until after they’ve completed it.

  4. Shappy 5 May, 2017 at 12:34

    I must say this is like the game you played in the 06-07 years.
    Just wondering why your doing it with a set where the cost of the box is gonna be like $125+
    Try to remember not too many kids can afford what your trying to offer.
    Hope Beckett comes out with a value for unscratched to scratched cards…. I think 10X – 25X for scratched cards since UD wants us to do it

  5. brian beauchemin 5 May, 2017 at 23:43

    what a crock To my understanding SPA is being allocated in Canada so the brick and mortars can’t get the amount of product they want. Every friggin release we as collectors are being told this. This has been going on for well over a year . Epack is in direct competition with the stores by having unlimited product when they are released to epack, We are being told every friggin product is short printed and the stores can only get it at an inflated price, The only break the stores got recently was in the grandeur coins which obviously flopped on epacks because a month ago they were an” exclusive” epack release……shame on you upper deck

    • Ryan Cracknell 8 May, 2017 at 12:28

      I believe Upper Deck has said in the past the SP Authentic will not be on e-Pack. So if it’s allocated, one would assume it was because it was ordered strongly.

  6. Mike 8 May, 2017 at 12:26

    So dumb, I think they missed the plot to why people started group breaking to begin with… Companies like UD make the odds and prices too high that any reasonable collector can complete any set expect base without spending hundreds of dollars.

    The worst past about SPA is the lack of quality sub-sets. there are 6 packs with an insert and 18 with nothing but fillers…

    ** end of rant **

  7. Richard 15 May, 2017 at 18:30

    Well, at least they now added a counter so assuming they keep it up to date that means people won’t scratch their cards for nothing now.

  8. David Cartier Portugais 17 May, 2017 at 23:42

    Difficult decision, lol no difficult decision there, i keep my cards -_- , the people who exchange 5mcdavid young guns for one cheap foil that nobody want lol, what a deal!

  9. Chris 25 May, 2017 at 19:21

    Last year I got an oversize mystery cut sig redemption 1:447,000 packs, and waited NINE MONTHS for it–Vincent Price! Upper Deck, is this the best you can do for someone who has spent tens of thousands on your trashy product since 1989? This hockey is just more garbage and gimmicky marketing, which is what this hobby has become. Gee, now I get to spend $5000 on garbage just to get a “special” set of 100 cards AND be marketed to! Gosh, sign me up!

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