Upper Deck responds to CLC exclusive with Panini

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Upper Deck issued the following reaction to the news that Panini America had signed an exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company on Thursday. It had held a CLC exclusive since 2010, which runs through March. The statement echoes the previous comments from the company about the changes to the CLC card landscape.

“In 2010, the Collegiate Licensing Company and Upper Deck announced an exclusive trading card partnership that revolutionized the college trading card market. That exclusive partnership is still in effect today, and will continue through March with several compelling licensed collegiate products releasing in the coming months.

“Upper Deck continues to be fully committed in creating the most innovative, high-quality collegiate trading cards ever produced. Previously, collegiate cards were only interspersed into professional trading card sets by the major trading card manufacturers, and referred to as ‘Professional prospect cards.’ Over the last four years, Upper Deck has taken collegiate cards to a whole new level, creating comprehensive school-specific trading card sets, releasing the first-ever college video trading cards, introducing never-before-seen college mascot patch cards, producing NCAA helmet cards, rare Shadow Box cards, high-value master collections and countless others. In addition, Upper Deck has expanded well beyond the boundaries of traditional college sports to include a wide array of both men’s and women’s athletic programs that have never been featured on trading cards.


“As an exclusive trading card partner of the CLC, Upper Deck has been able to responsibly manage the category, limiting releases and production so as not to saturate the market or jeopardize the steady growth and solid foundation that has taken years of hard work to build.

“Upper Deck strives to bring collectors high-quality products, and to deliver collegiate cards that are continuously recognized for holding some of the highest market values across the entire trading card market.

“Recent collegiate licensing changes have already sparked serious concerns from collectors, store owners, distributors and others in the trading card industry. Mismanagement of the collegiate trading card license could destroy the stability that this market has come to rely on, and flood the market with an excess of products that hold little or no value. Upper Deck has worked very hard to keep this from happening and remains committed to the collegiate category and more importantly, committed to collectors and hobby shops that have come to expect the best with regards to quality collegiate trading card releases. Upper Deck has agreed to terms on an exclusive multi-year deal with the University of Notre Dame and plans to continue looking at opportunities in the collegiate market.”

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5 comments

  1. David D 9 January, 2015 at 00:10

    WOW- can’t wait to see more Panini monopoly on the market. Wish they would take their sticker album-and go back to Italy!

  2. Ken 9 January, 2015 at 08:18

    Funny, I don’t remember Panini sending out these messages when UD got the “exclusive” license in 2010, or when they lost the NHL license to UD last year. Upper Deck is sour and knows they are in trouble. The real loss is for the consumer, exclusive license means less choices for us!

    Last I saw Monopolys are never great. Look at hockey, so far the 2014-15 brands have been less interesting than in years past.

  3. Paul Angilly 9 January, 2015 at 16:38

    Isn’t this almost the exact same release that Upper Deck put out months ago? Why, yes it is …

    Upper Deck blog from Oct. 24, 2014:
    http://upperdeckblog.com/2014/10/upper-deck-statement-re-collegiate-trading-card-license/

    Quality products? Upper Deck can’t even be bothered to put any thought into a quality news release. Like their trading cards, they just recycling the same ideas over and over …

    UD had their chance with the CLC license and they blew it. I’m not Panini’s biggest fan, but I’ll be interested to see if it can do better.

  4. Chris 10 January, 2015 at 10:23

    No more SP Authentic and SPX college football. No more Press Pass on card autos. More ugly color vomiting Panini cards…… great! More money saved I guess that I would spend.

  5. Albert 25 June, 2015 at 22:27

    Cards values will go down. Panini will saturate the market in all sports. We are going back to the late 90s my friends. Sell your cards now!

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