In The Game and Leaf Trading Cards Partner Up

In The Game and Leaf Trading Cards Partner Up

The Toronto Sports Card Expo has been referred to as a semi-annual National Sports Collectors Convention for hockey collectors. So it was only fitting that the venue serve as the place for hockey card manufacturer, In The Game, to make a key announcement related to the future of the company. They're teaming with Leaf Trading Cards.

In The Game owner, Dr. Brian Price, announced that the company was forming a strategic partnership with Leaf Trading Cards. While the two entities will remain separate companies, they plan to use their combined resources to further develop the hockey card category. Leaf Trading Cards will assume production and distribution for all of the In The Game brands. Design and product development will be a collaborative effort.

"Without licensing, we have been fighting a tough battle for the last eight years," said Dr. Price. "We were looking for a partner that could help us be an alternative to the licensed manufacturer out there. We believe there should be some choice in the marketplace."

The informal partnership involves no official acquisition or merger and the complete details are still being discussed and worked through. The intent of the is move is to give both companies the opportunity to capitalize on their strengths to further promote the various In The Game brands.

"This provides us with a whole fresh look at what we are doing by someone else that looks at things the same way we do." said Dr. Price. "This will allow us to provide a better alternative than we ever have before."

Leaf's owner, Brian Gray, followed up the announcement with these further thoughts. "With some of the licensing changes in the landscape of hockey, with collectors having their choices whittled down again, not because they wanted it but because it was involuntary, Dr. Price and I have been contemplating the best way to equip a company to take on an unwanted and unwelcome exclusive. Collectors deserve a choice and we are here to give it to them."

In February, Upper Deck was named the exclusive NHL card maker for the 2014-15 season and beyond.

Over the past few years, both Leaf and In the Game have been working to create compelling products despite not having a license.

This announcement comes in the months following Leaf's acquisition of Famous Fabrics and Sportkings, both formerly owned by In the Game.

You can listen to the full announcement and post reaction interviews with both, Dr Brian Price and Brian Gray on a special episode of Cardboard Connection Radio.

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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

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