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When it comes to trading cards, baseball has always been king. But things are changing as more and more collectors are looking for a trading card experience that features athletes who make their living off the diamond. Football, hockey, basketball, golf, MMA and even wrestling cards have all been popular, but now Upper Deck is excited to give sports fans a more extreme collecting option with surfing.
Upper Deck has been targeting pro surfer Kelly Slater for some time and was thrilled when the company was able to strike an agreement for image rights and autographs for new sports cards. One of the key points to striking a deal occurred when Slater learned Upper Deck wanted to include him in the company’s 2012 All-Time Greats product. This release has a checklist of only twenty athletes including iconic superstars like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Dan Marino, Landon Donovan, Mike Tyson and Pete Rose to name a few. Kelly Slater will now be a part of that impressive checklist of superstars.
Slater’s deal is limited which means so are his cards. And with a shorter supply, we will likely see a greater demand from collectors. Fans of surfing’s greatest star can look to find his trading cards in two offerings from Upper Deck this season in 2012 Goodwin Champions and 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats.
The Goodwin Champions line of cards is currently in the market and Kelly’s autograph cards in the set are selling in the $50-$75 range in the secondary market so there seems to be significant interest in them. It will be interesting to see how a more premium signed trading card of Slater’s sell when 2012 Upper Deck All-Time Greats releases this winter.
Will Upper Deck add more surfers to the company’s product line up in the future? We’ll have to continue to assess how stoked the grommets, gremmies and locals are when they pull their Kelly Slater Upper Deck cards showing him ripping it up! Hopefully even the kooks like them.