Upper Deck may not have an official license but they do have some of the NBA’s top past and present stars under contract and the company is making use of them in its 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball cards.
“Every year we try to up the ante with our most sought-after content inside SP Authentic Basketball,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s Basketball brand manager. “This season we scored with our top-notch lineup of hard-signed ‘By the Letter’ autographs and ‘Chirography’ and ‘Sign of the Times’ autograph cards. Additionally, we’re delivering the largest Michael Jordan University of North Carolina floor trading cards that we’ve ever produced. Collectors are going to go nuts for the Jordan floor cards, especially the short-printed versions and the autograph parallels.”
Based on Upper Deck’s longtime relationship with exclusive basketball spokesman Michael Jordan, the company was able to utilize the actual basketball floor at Carmichael Arena upon which MJ played his three seasons at UNC. The large 1.5” by 2” floor pieces have been placed in specially designed “Supreme Court” floor cards which show Jordan during his days as a Tar Heel. Jordan has signed some very rare parallels of the cards (numbered to five each).
Each box, on average, will yield either two “SP By the Letter” autograph cards from top rookies, veterans and/or retirees or one “SP By the Letter” signed card, one additional autographed card (single-, dual-, triple- or quad-signed) and one Michael Jordan “Supreme Court” floor card.
Collectors will find classic Holo F/X hologram inserts falling at a rate of 1:6 packs with rare die-cut versions sprinkled throughout the product. LeBron James, another exclusive autograph signer for Upper Deck, has participated with a bevy of autograph cards throughout the product.
Among the current and former stars who comprise the multi-tiered “Sign of the Times” collection are: Julius Erving (Massachusetts), Magic Johnson (Michigan State), Larry Bird (Indiana State), Jerry West (West Virginia), Anfernee Hardaway (Memphis), Bill Walton (UCLA), Danny Manning (Kansas) and John Havlicek (Ohio State). The “Chirography” signed cards are just as enticing as superstars like Alonzo Mourning (Georgetown), Christian Laettner (Duke), Derrick Rose (Memphis), Larry Johnson (UNLV), John Stockton (Gonzaga) and Michael Jordan (UNC) top the list.
SP “By the Letter” hard-signed cards feature letter patches that spell out the featured player’s last name. Bill Russell and Julius Erving will be part of the subset.
2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball set has been released with five cards per pack and 24 packs per box.
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