Upper Deck Fills NHL All-Star Game Voting Void, Asks Fans to Instead Choose 'All-Time Greatest' Card Collection
Dec 15, 2005
Upper Deck Fills NHL All-Star Game Voting Void, Asks Fans to Instead Choose 'All-Time Greatest' Card Collection; First-Ever Fan-Selected Set Available in '06
Each NHL Team to Have Only One Player Elected to All-Time All-Star Squad; Vote Will Also Choose Greatest Team of All Time, with Cities Facing Off at Center Ice in Bracketed Tournament Format
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2005) -- Edmonton teammates Gretzky and Messier -- or Detroit's "Production Line" of Howe and Lindsay in their prime? And who had the better supporting cast?
Every hockey fan has wondered: who would win in a matchup of the 1983/84 Oilers and 1953/54 Red Wings?
Now, thanks to Upper Deck, fans will not only have the chance to vote on who they think would take the title, but also their team's greatest player -- past or present -- with the winners making up what's believed to be the sports trading card industry's first-ever fan-selected set.
To be titled the All-Time Greatest Collection, Upper Deck will offer the set at retail in fall 2006 and include one player from each NHL franchise, six of the best rookies ever and one card highlighting history's top single-season team.
Voting begins Dec. 23 at www.TheAllTimeGreatest.com and continues through season's end in April, with the set's winners announced during the NHL playoffs in May. On the ballot: four players per NHL team, 30 rookies and -- in a weekly, ranked bracketed tournament format -- 16 teams from seven decades.
Gretzky's Oilers (3) and Howe's Red Wings (14) meet in the first round. Beyond the third-ranked Oilers, the other top seeds are the 1965/66 Montreal Canadiens (1), the 1981/82 New York Islanders (2) and the 1976/77 Canadiens (4).
"With the NHL All-Star Game on hold this February due to the Olympics, we wanted to continue the league's fan involvement in the sport," said Upper Deck senior sports marketing manager Kerri Stockholm.
"And, in what was a tough year last year, we also wanted to thank the hockey fans for their continued support -- but do it in a real way, with real product based on their input, not just a running best-of list of some kind."
According to Stockholm, fans can get a first glimpse of what the All-Time Greatest Collection will look like when Upper Deck unveils its Finalist insert cards, featuring 90 set finalists: two pre-selected players from 30 NHL teams and all 30 rookies on the ballot.
The five-card packs will be handed out at NHL games starting in January and be inserted in three soon-to-launch NHL offerings: Upper Deck MVP (Dec. 30), Fleer Ultra (Jan. 23) and Upper Deck Series 2 (March 6). The Finalist packs, distributed in arena, will include a voting card and a retail promotion offer card.
Adding to the contest's fan interactivity, Stockholm also mentioned there will be a continuous real-time update on the AllTimeGreatest Web site of the collection's top vote getters.
More on Upper Deck's All-Time Greatest Collection
Every fan who votes is entered into a sweepstakes drawing to win a grand prize trip for two to the 2006/07 NHL All-Star Game. Secondary prizes include the complete All-Time Greatest Collection, retail boxes of key Upper Deck hockey brands and NHL poker sets.
More on Upper Deck's NHL Partnership, History
Upper Deck has a long-term partnership with the NHL, producing hockey-specific trading cards and collectibles since 1991. In the lockout season of 2004/05, Upper Deck was the only collectibles industry company to create and distribute fully-licensed NHL product. Pairing down its catalogue from 12 to nine offerings -- and focusing on the sport's legends and veterans -- Upper Deck had one of its best hockey category sales years ever, selling out its entire line.
About The Upper Deck Company
Founded in 1988, The Upper Deck Co., is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts.