USA Football and Upper Deck have announced that the Carlsbad, Calif.-based trading card and collectibles company is an official sponsor of USA Football, its national team program and its work in youth football. The agreement marks USA Football’s first partnership with a trading card manufacturer.
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States, assembling America’s national teams for international competition. Fifty-nine countries spanning five continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to football.
Upper Deck’s multi-year exclusive partnership with USA Football is its most significant foray into America’s youth football community, composed of approximately 3.0 million players age 6-14. USA Football also is the official youth development partner of the NFL and each of its 32 teams.
Starting this fall, Upper Deck will produce special edition U.S. Under-19 National Team football cards to be inserted into Upper Deck’s 2011 SP Authentic Football trading card packs slated to release in September.
On Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas, America’s Under-19 National Team in football earned a 21-14 victory against a World Team composed of top teenage football players spanning eight countries. The game was telecast nationally by NFL Network. Team USA was assembled of top high school seniors who will play college football this season for prominent Division I programs including Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Virginia Tech and others.
Special edition Under-19 National Team trading cards will include player images from February’s Team USA vs. The World game. Team USA players’ signatures and pieces of their game-worn jerseys also will be inserted into card packs.
USA Football teaches the game’s fundamentals and inherent values through more than 80 annual football training events and innovative online skill development resources. Indianapolis-based USA Football is an independent non-profit.
“It will be Upper Deck’s privilege and honor to join forces with USA Football,” said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s vice president of Marketing. “Any effort to promote the great game of football is a step in the right direction and the opportunity to capture members of the U.S. Under-19 National Team on trading cards is one we’re very excited about.”
Said USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck, “Our national team program and Player Academies will benefit from Upper Deck’s industry-leading work and their commitment to youth football for the millions of kids who love to stay fit by playing America’s favorite sport and gain from the game’s team-first values.”