Upper Deck, a prominent player in the trading card industry, has recently announced the renewal of its exclusive licensing partnership with the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA). This strategic move solidifies Upper Deck’s role as the sole licensed producer of physical trading cards featuring over a thousand former NHL athletes, cementing their commitment to hockey history and memorabilia.
The partnership between Upper Deck and the NHLAA is seen as a significant step in enhancing their offerings and enriching the collectibles market for enthusiasts. Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck, emphasized the crucial role the NHLAA plays in providing access to the image rights of its members, allowing them to feature trading cards and autographs of many of hockey’s greatest players.
The NHL Alumni Association, based in Ontario, actively supports former NHL players through various programs and initiatives. Their group licensing program, launched in 2017, allows the NHLAA to use the collective image rights of its members for commercial purposes, benefiting their programs and initiatives. With participation from hockey legends such as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Patrick Roy, this partnership reflects the broad commercial appeal of the association.
While Upper Deck is among several enterprises engaging in business with the NHLAA, their renewed agreement signifies the partnership’s commitment to “Honoring the Past.” Glenn Healy, Executive Director of the NHL Alumni Association, expressed his enthusiasm about continuing the collaboration with Upper Deck, emphasizing the significant role that Upper Deck trading cards have played in capturing and preserving the heritage of hockey.
In an exciting development, Upper Deck announced plans to expand its product line to include digital trading cards available through its Evolution platform. This innovative approach blends traditional collecting with the digital age, offering a new medium for fans and collectors to engage with the history of hockey. This expansion promises to enrich the legacy of the sport for a new generation of fans and collectors.
Overall, the extended licensing agreement between Upper Deck and the NHL Alumni Association not only solidifies Upper Deck’s exclusive rights to produce and distribute physical trading cards of former NHL players but also introduces a new avenue for collectors with digital collectibles. This partnership ensures that hockey fans and collectors of all generations can continue to cherish and celebrate the revered NHL Alumni who have shaped the game.