Upper Deck's National Hockey Card Day is no longer a Canadian exclusive. The program aimed primarily at bringing new collectors into the market, began in 2009 and has been successful for retailers north of the border. Now, the company is extending it to the U.S. Scheduled to take place on February 11, the day before the NHL's 'Hockey Day in America' promotion, customers who visit brick-and-mortar hobby shops across the country will get a free pack of cards. Stores must be on Upper Deck's Certified Diamond Dealer list to take part.
While cards distributed in Canada focus on players native to that country, American collectors will get U.S. players, plus international stars from the best franchises based here. The set is 15 cards but a 16th card will be offered to fans as a gift with purchase.
"In terms of the design we wanted to go with a sleek look with lots of use of red, white and blue," wrote Upper Deck's Chris Carlin in the company blog. "For the “American Icons” and “Memorable Moments” cards we incorporated bronze and gold coloring which came out looking great."
According to Upper Deck, some limited autograph cards will be randomly inserted into packs.
National Hockey Card Day will also have an online promotion through the special Facebook page created for the program. Giveaways through the page will include packs, boxes, blow-up cards and signed memorabilia for collectors who share stories and video on the page. M
Images from the 2011 event in Canada are here.