Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Upper Deck inks deals with college stars
Posted Feb 12, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:16 PM
There has been plenty of attention directed toward the start of spring training, and deservedly so. But for football fans waiting for the NFL draft in late April, Upper Deck has some product to scratch your itch.
The 2013 Upper Deck football set will hit the stores on April 9, and on Tuesday the company announced trading card and autograph deals with players who are projected to go high in the NFL draft.
Top college prospects like Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon, Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball, Cordarrelle Patterson, Denard Robinson, Tavon Austin, Damontre Moore, Tyler Eifert, Manti Te’o and others.
Smith already has an autograph and trading card agreement with Panini America, but that is for his signature and likeness on the NFL cards the company will produce beginning in May with Score football. Since Upper Deck owns licenses for players depicted in their college uniform, the former West Virginia quarterback and others will be shown as they appeared during their days.
“Our athlete relations team has been working tirelessly not only to reach deals with this talented crop of new rookies, but also scheduling signing sessions with them as well,” said Brandon Miller, Upper Deck’s collegiate sports brand manager. “The next few weeks will be some of the busiest of the year for our football team, but it all pays off when we hear how excited our customers are when they open up new Upper Deck packs that are filled with great rookie content and autograph cards.”
This year’s Upper Deck football set will contain, on average, two to three rookie cards per pack. In addition to the autograph cards, there will be sepia-tone parallel rookie cards. Upper Deck also will pay tribute to the 1995 SP Authentic set with prospect autograph cards, and Ultimate Collection cards will please high-end collectors.
Upper Deck said there would be 200 rookies in its set of 2013 UD football.