Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hobby Happenings and Breaking News

A busy day in The Hobby with further shake-ups with regard to trading card licensing. SCU reported an as yet to be confirmed rumor that Upper Deck will be losing their NFL license due to unpaid licensing fees. You can read more about that here.

If this comes to fruition it could be a crushing blow and death knell for the once great manufacturer. Upper Deck has consistently delivered the most attractive trading cards across all sports but particularly with football and hockey.

Speaking of hockey, today, the NHL, its players union and Panini released a statement confirming the rumored granting of a license to the Arlington, TX based company. The license is non-exclusive (for now depending on the fate of Upper Deck). You can read the complete press release here.

This move by Panini shouldn't come as a surprise for two reasons. First, is the global reach of the Panini brand name which pairs well with the game's international influences, with NHL players from all over Europe currently on team rosters. Second, is the fact that Panini has been producing NHL sticker sets, meaning they already have a wealth of images to draw from for card production. This actually might work out well for everyone with Upper Deck being able to cater to the North American market with mid range and higher end products, allowing Panini to focus on their core of lower priced products.

As is always the case with business realignments like those announced today, only time will tell.

** Update ** Upper Deck responded to the rumor surrounding their NFL license on Twitter with this post- "We are unaware of any change to the decision the NFLPA and the NFL made back in November."


John Bateman said...

hope they bring back the Score, – the early 90s I thought they had better hockey cards than Upped Deck and Topps. I hope they make them affordable. Score is the one card manufacturer name that goes with the Sport.

Crosby shoots – Score!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Remember also that Panini holds the naming rights to all of Pacific's old brands as well

Sports Card Radio said...

I could not get anyone to confirm the 'missed payment' from e-mails to national newspapers, however I have 2 sources stating that Panini may land an exclusive NFL license. Either way an announcement is expected shortly.

Great show.

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