Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Upper Deck Bids Adios to NFL Football

First thing I learned today: Kids and tacos mean big messes.

Second thing I learned: Upper Deck and NFL Properties didn't reach a license renewal agreement. In a brief post-dinner statement, Upper Deck announced that it wouldn't be making any NFL products as a result. It's been a tough year for the company, losing baseball, basketball and now football. Not to mention Yu-Gi-Oh and World of Warcraft in the gaming realm. What's left? Sidney Crosby, Iron Man and Hello Kitty.

Here's the Richard McWilliam quote of the day, “Over the past year, Upper Deck has attempted to negotiate a new licensing deal with NFL Properties. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were not able to reach agreeable terms, and therefore will not be issuing any NFL Properties-licensed trading cards for the 2010 season. Upper Deck will continue to focus on its exclusive license agreement with the Collegiate Licensing Company and co-exclusive agreements with NHL Enterprises and the NHL Players’ Association, as well as its multiple entertainment licenses.”

It's a lot of blah, blah, blah but I included it simply because I love the doublespeak of a co-exclusive agreement.

Expect more to come on this and its ramifications. As well as a blow-by-blow account over at


The Wax Wombat said...

Didn't they just fire a bunch of people over in the entertainment division? Beyond Iron Man 2 and Hello Kitty what the heck are they gonna do? Mooch off Rittenhouse some more?

Captain Canuck said...

and they don't have Sid Crosby anymore either... isn't one of the terms of the "co-exclusive" deal is that no company can monopolize a player?

Ryan Cracknell said...

I'm not sure totally what the deal with the Marvel license is. Between IM2 and the card game they've put out, I'm wondering if it's largely movie-based as Rittenhouse is working on the comic stuff.

The only other entertainment license I can think of is Thomas the Tank Engine.

They still have Crosby, but Panini does too. Has anyone heard about how the non-exclusive player deals affect retired folks. The loss of the Gretzky exclusive would be another weird site.

The landscape is a changing and Upper Deck, should it survive, is going to be as a much smaller player.