National Football League Properties will not grant a license to Upper Deck in 2010.
Upper Deck CEO and founder Richard McWilliam said, “Over the past year, Upper Deck has attempted to negotiate a new licensing deal with NFL Properties. 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.”
Upper Deck spokesman Terry Melia indicated that the loss of an NFL license didn’t necessarily mean the company would not be producing any football cards in 2010, but the lack of a license would mean no league or team logos could be used…a situation similar to what the company faced after losing its MLB license after last season.
Upper Deck’s only remaining pro sports licenses are with the NHL (one they’ll share with Panini next season) and the MLB Players Association.
More details on the NFL’s trading card licensing contracts could be coming from the NFL on Thursday.