Upper Deck, a leading name in the trading card industry, has recently renewed its exclusive licensing partnership with the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA), reaffirming its commitment to hockey history and memorabilia. This agreement solidifies Upper Deck’s role as the sole licensed producer of physical trading cards featuring over a thousand former NHL athletes.
Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck, emphasized the strategic importance of this partnership. He highlighted the significant value the NHL Alumni Association brings to Upper Deck’s offerings, enabling them to feature trading cards and autographs of some of the greatest players in hockey history. This collaboration enriches the collectibles market for enthusiasts and fans alike.
The NHL Alumni Association, based in Ontario, has been actively supporting former NHL players through various programs and initiatives. One of their notable developments is the group licensing program, launched in June 2017, which allows the NHLAA to utilize the collective image rights of its members for commercial purposes. This program features the participation of iconic hockey legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Steve Yzerman, Jean Beliveau, Mats Sundin, Teemu Selanne, Johnny Bower, and many more Hall of Fame inductees.
Upper Deck is just one of several enterprises engaging in business with the NHLAA, reflecting the broad commercial appeal of the association. Beyond trading cards, the NHLAA’s initiatives include player appearances, professional-amateur tournaments, career transition programs, an annual stick auction, and other activities aimed at celebrating the sport and its legacy.
Glenn Healy, the Executive Director of the NHL Alumni Association, expressed his enthusiasm for extending the collaboration with Upper Deck, a partnership focused on ‘Honoring the Past’. He highlighted the significant role that Upper Deck trading cards have played in capturing and preserving the rich heritage of hockey. This renewed agreement promises to allow fans and collectors from different generations to cherish and celebrate the revered NHL Alumni who have shaped the game.
In an exciting development, Upper Deck announced plans to expand its product line to include digital trading cards through its Evolution platform. This move represents a significant step towards blending traditional collecting with the digital age. It offers a new medium for fans and collectors to connect with the history of hockey, providing a fresh and interactive experience.
In conclusion, the renewal of the exclusive licensing agreement between Upper Deck and the NHL Alumni Association not only solidifies Upper Deck’s rights to produce and distribute physical trading cards of former NHL players, but also marks a foray into the realm of digital collectibles. This expansion enriches the legacy of hockey and ensures that fans and collectors of all generations can continue to cherish and celebrate the enduring impact of their favorite NHL Alumni.