Upper Deck Unveils 'World of Sports' Set; Autographs Abound from NCAA Basketball Coaches

Video shows National Association of Basketball Coaches members Tom Izzo, Bill Self, Gary Williams, Jeff Capel and Bo Ryan talking about the product

Carlsbad, CA (Feb. 8, 2011) /PRNewswire/ — The Upper Deck Company, the longtime industry leader in sports trading cards, is proud to announce today’s release of a comprehensive, 375-card set which includes a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, swimming, skiing, ice hockey, figure skating, golf, lacrosse and mixed martial arts. Entitled “World of Sports,” the far-reaching collection includes hundreds of different athletes and coaches from a host of countries and is packed with autographed cards from many of the personalities including 30 members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)®.

Headliners like Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Bill Self (Kansas), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma) and Gary Williams (Maryland) top the list of participating NABC members. Their inclusion, with autographs, is a first for Upper Deck. Five of them even offered their opinion on what it means to partner with a company like Upper Deck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdV_QNwIv-U.

“This is an exciting venture to have college basketball coaches featured on Upper Deck trading cards. It was always a thrill opening up packs of cards as a youngster to see who you had,” said Bill Self, head basketball coach at the University of Kansas. “With the tremendous popularity of men’s college basketball today, having college coaches on cards will continue to help grow the game.”

Added Tom Izzo, head basketball coach at Michigan State: “What we try to do as coaches is always surround ourselves with the best and everybody knows Upper Deck has been the best. So consequently, I think being associated with them is going to benefit us. It’ll get our name out there more and kids will be more involved in it. I think it’s a win-win-win.”

Upper Deck has exclusive deals in place with The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and the NABC, so company officials are excited about the multi-sport launch and what it brings to the card-collecting community.

“This has been an ambitious effort to put together a trading card set that appeals to such a variety of sports fans,” said Upper Deck’s Vice President of Marketing Jason Masherah. “In what other set will you be able to find such a broad mix of autograph cards and game-worn memorabilia cards from sports legends ranging from Wayne Gretzky, Bode Miller and Michael Jordan to Hope Solo, Cammi Granato and Amanda Beard?”

Other sports stars featured in the set include: Bo Jackson and Jose Canseco (baseball); Dara Torres and Mark Spitz (swimming); Matt Danowski (lacrosse); Tiger Woods (golf); Landon Donovan and David Beckham (soccer); Mat Hoffman (BMX); Taylor Hall, Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe (hockey); LeBron James, Larry Bird, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins (basketball); and Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir (figure skating).

About Upper Deck

Upper Deck is the leading sports and entertainment trading card and collectibles company. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit www.upperdeck.com.

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog Allen”, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.

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