Upper Deck Loses NFL License

Upper Deck Loses NFL License

Upper Deck announced on Wednesday that they will no longer be licensed to produce Football Cards. Over the last year and a half, Upper Deck has seen it's fortunes change drastically:

  • January 27th, 2009- Panini secures exclusive rights to manufacture license NBA Cards
  • November 30th, 2009- Topps secures exclusive rights to manufacture licensed MLB Cards
  • February 2nd, 2010- MLB sues Upper Deck for trademark infringement
  • March 24th, 2010- NHL comes to agreement with Panini and Upper Deck (UD had exclusive rights since 2005-06)

In a formal statement, Upper Deck owner Richard McWilliam said that the company will turn it's focus to it's Collegeand Hockey Card offerings:

“Over the past year, Upper Deck has attempted to negotiate a new licensing deal with NFL Properties," McWilliam said. “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."

Last August, Upper Deck signed an exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. It will be interesting to see where Upper Deck goes from here. Meanwhile, the news just keeps getting better for Panini. Here's an updated look at which companies are licensed to make each sport:

  • Baseball Cards: Topps
  • Basketball Cards: Panini
  • Football Cards: Panini
  • Hockey Cards: Panini, Upper Deck

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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

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