Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And Then There Were 2?- Rumors of Further Contraction in the Trading Card Market

Today on Twitter, an industry insider with reliable sources in the hobby, dropped a bomb shell. Rumor has it that the NFL and it's player's union, will be looking to reduce the number of football card licensees in the market from 3 companies to 2. You know what the say about assumptions and rumors but you also know that where there is smoke there is fire. In addition, Steven has proved to be a reliable source with many industry contacts still at his disposal.

So let's say it is true. What does that mean? Will the 2 licenses be put up for bid? Will the decision be made arbitrarily? Only time will tell. What I do know is that if Upper Deck gets left holding the short-end of the stick, it begs the question how long they could continue to exist as a viable company. I may be terribly wrong seeing as I am not privvy to their financials but for a company to lose two licenses already and if the unthinkable happens, a third, how could they possibly make it on Upper Deck Authenticated and NHL cards alone?

Richard McWilliam's has been very focal in defending his decision to not pursue an NBA license at the extent of a bidding war with Panini. The swift kick in the ass MLB gave him must have come as a surprise seeing as it came quickly on the heels of an extended deal with the MLBA. If I were McWilliams I'd be taking the Upper Hand and putting a deal together for an exclusive NFL license instead of leaving the decision up to others.

As a collector, if this actually happens, I'll be pissed. Upper Deck has their faults but they have consistently shown they are currently the only company capable of producing high-end trading cards. I'm not a high roller with a ton of disposable income to spend on these types of products, but as a player collector, the fact that such great cards exist leave me with viable options to pursue singles on the secondary market.

Corporate greed, shady politics, back door deals and creative ineptitude run amok should not be the four pillars of the trading card industry, but apparently they are. And you know who pays the price for such shananigans? You guessed it, the collector.


Anonymous said...

Please don't leave the Football Card Market only to Upper Deck. They don't produce football cards but Memorabilia packs with so-called football cards added like a stick of gum. You have to admit that the sweetest Adrian Peterson rookie card was his black bordered 2007 Topps regular issued card (only to be outdone by the white bordered Target set version). Let Upper Deck produce cards of individual players with their DNA attached but let Topps produce Real Football Cards and Real Football Sets for the Real Card Collectors

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Interesting take. So if one had to go. . . you would choose obviously not Topps but who then?

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