Hoops cards aren’t exactly flying out of hobby shops this season, so Upper Deck is cutting back on the number of cases it’s producing in hopes of creating some value.
In what it says is "an effort to further stimulate the NBA trading card market", Upper Deck is announcing production has been cut further on all NBA releases for the remainder of the 2007-08 season. Additionally, for hobby shops that purchase direct from Upper Deck, no allocations will be guaranteed for the remainder of the season and NBA product will only be available on a first come, first serve basis.
“The cuts actually started with 2007-08 SP Authentic Basketball and they have been pretty significant,” shared Chris Kollmeyer, Upper Deck brand manager for Basketball. “The cuts are difficult to take from a financial standpoint, but allow us to make improvements to the brands in ways collectors appreciate."
Upper Deck will include an average of two of what it calls “A” level autographs per 10-box case of its Black Basketball product. Autograph cards of Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan fall in that mix.
"This is the type of enhancement the production cuts allow us to make to improve the brand and ultimately the market,” Kollmeyer said.
Two of Upper Deck’s higher-end products are being cut in an effort to increase the overall value and collectibility of the sets. 2007-08 UD Premier Basketball, scheduled to be released on April 2nd, will be limited to 499 cases. The company will produce just 599 cases of 2007-08 NBA SP Rookie Threads, scheduled to be released on April 18th. the cases will each be sequentially numbered on the outside to prove there were only a finite amount of them produced.
“The economy in general is another reason why the trading card market has struggled as of late,” said Chris Carlin, Upper Deck hobby marketing manager. “These cuts afford many sports fans the opportunity to invest in their passion as most market experts believe the NBA trading card market will rebound and collectors will come back to this rookie class. When it does recover, we anticipate the limited supply available on Upper Deck products will act as another catalyst to improve values on products from 2007-08 season.”