A new crop of rookies and hobby-specific marketing programs are on the docket as the sole provider of hockey cards spells out its upcoming campaign.
With the NHL regular season nearly upon us, the Upper Deck Company – the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League’s exclusive licensee of hockey trading cards – has announced its plans for the upcoming 2009-10 campaign.
“With an outstanding rookie class set to hit the ice, this season lines up as one of the best in recent years,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “Upper Deck’s Series One Hockey, which hits in November, will be the first product to showcase the new rookies, provided they skate on Opening Night.”
Leading off Upper Deck’s marketing initiatives this season will be the return of its “Biography of a Season” wrapper redemption program. Starting in November, Upper Deck’s collectors will be able to receive an exclusive NHL card highlighting great moments of the current 2009-10 season with the purchase of $5 or more worth of Upper Deck hockey cards at Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer locations. The program begins on November 1 with a new card distributed every week (four cards per month). A total of 30 unique NHL cards will be produced for the 2009-10 Biography of a Season trading card set.
Upper Deck will also be introducing a brand new program this season exclusive to Canadian hobby stores entitled “Upper Deck’s Hockey Card Heaven.” The campaign was created to encourage hobby shop owners to run various promotions and events (Trade Nights, Pack Wars, Draft Events, etc.) in their stores in order to stir up interest and foot traffic. Those hobby shops that come up with the most creative ways to do just that will be eligible to win great prizes from Upper Deck including two “grand prizes” consisting of an athlete appearance at their store. A total of ten “first prizes” will also be doled out consisting of special tailgate parties with memorabilia, t-shirts, hats and Upper Deck hockey card products available.
And picking up right where last year’s inaugural “National Hockey Card Day” promotion left off, Upper Deck will repeat the trick on January 30, 2010, by providing free five-card packs to hobby shops and retail outlets throughout Canada which will be handed out to customers. Like last year, it will consist of a 15-card set featuring Canada’s top rookies, stars and legends.
Following UD1’s release in mid-November, SPx will deliver the first rookie jersey cards of the season two months later, while Collector’s Choice, also launching in January, will offer kid-focused items such as NHL team tattoos and manga art illustrations.
In February, Series Two Hockey will complete where UD1 left off with the latest rookies and a collectible rookie swatch insert. ICE Hockey, which is slated to hit store shelves on February 24. SP Authentic, with its array of rookie autographs, is slated to launch April 1. Upper Deck’s 2009-10 O-Pee-Chee Update will round out the season.
“NHL fans and collectors are looking forward to another solid year of both ‘tried and true’ brand releases and to some innovative cards from our exclusive trading card partner, Upper Deck,” said Dave McCarthy, NHL Vice President of Entertainment Products. “This year’s rookie class will create many exciting moments for collectors seeking to add these exclusive cards to their collections.”
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