First Upper Deck Golden Ticket Pulled

A collector from Hawaii grabs one of the big prizes in a major basketball card contest–but he had to go through an Illinois sports card shop to get it.

Keith McDonough, the owner of Bleachers Sports in Winnetka, IL, is used to being in the spotlight. He’s been in national news over the last year for proposing a “Bondsfire” where customers would bring in cards and memorabilia of slugger Barry Bonds to burn when he broke Hank Aaron’s record. McDonough has been making news as well for putting a bounty on very rare 2007 Upper Deck Sweet Spot error cards. Now he makes news again by having the first Upper Deck “Exquisite Experience” golden ticket pulled in his shop from 2007-08 NBA SP Authentic.

Upper Deck Exquisite Golden Ticket

One Upper Deck “Exquisite Experience” golden ticket was inserted into each of the company’s basketball products: 2007-08 NBA SP Authentic, 2007-08 NBA UD Black, 2007-08 NBA SP Rookie Edition and 2007-08 NBA UD Premier. The winning ticket prizes include airfare and accommodations to Dallas, TX, where the winners will meet members of the Upper Deck staff responsible for creating 2007-08 NBA Exquisite at a welcome dinner. The next day they will be taken to the production facility where they will receive a behind-the-scenes tour, background information on the fifth release and have the opportunity to build and keep their own custom 2007-08 Exquisite box.

“My customer pulled it from a case of 2007-08 NBA SP Authentic and it was quite a thrill,” said McDonough. “It is one of the coolest cards ever pulled in my store and we have a history of customers pulling some pretty amazing cards from Upper Deck. He made the decision to sell it so I handled that for him. We probably took less than it was worth, but we were worried about scam bids.”

Roughly 4,000 miles away in Hawaii, a long-time collector and aficionado of the NBA Exquisite brand had made an offer of $5,000 for the card that he didn’t believe would be enough. Dayton DeLuz admits he was “pleasantly surprised they took the offer.” DeLuz had just happened upon the auction and decided to go for it.

“This is just a dream trip for a collector like me, it’s like something out of a movie,” said DeLuz. “I’m really excited about the opportunity of building my own box of NBA Exquisite. I’m a Jordan collector so I’ll be looking for cards of him. I’m hoping to find a Jordan/LeBron dual logoman card. That’s my dream card and I have been very close to buying one before, but maybe I can find one through this experience.”

“This is a really great way to celebrate the five-year anniversary of a product line that basically revolutionized the hobby,” said Chris Kollmeyer, Upper Deck Basketball brand manager. “We’ve come a long way since that first release of NBA Exquisite and these lucky collectors will get the opportunity to be the first to see just how exciting 2007-08 NBA Exquisite will be. There are still more golden tickets out there, so we look forward to booking travel for the next lucky winners.”

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