Word began coming out early last week, and was officially announced last Thursday that Upper Deck lost its NFL license to produce cards for 2010. This leaves UD with only a Hockey and NCAA license. As it stands now Panini will be the only football card producer in 2010.
The hobby landscape has been turned upside down during the past 12 months. Just about every major sport announced license changes. With the various lawsuits between the companies and leagues during the past year, it's also now much tougher to produce an unlicensed set. Its almost as if the card hobby is in a "rebuilding" phase.
Upper Deck really had this coming. While UD produces probably the best looking cards on the market, just about everything else with the company can be questioned in depth. Their mis-management compiled with various shady dealings have led many collectors and more importantly the leagues to shun Upper Deck.
I hate seeing a company decline, there are good people working at Upper Deck, who make good cards. Unfortunately, really bad management is impossible to overcome. WIll Upper Deck survive 2010? I doubt it. Its too bad, the one thing they have done best over the years is Hockey. Will its last major license be enough to save the company?