2013 SPX Football: Upper Deck Takes Event Used to A New Level

Since the acquisition of the CLC license exclusive in 2010, Upper Deck has been producing cards with an unusual situation that is rarely experienced in the industry. Because their entire library of memorabilia is based on their previous pro-licenses, they had few if any college jerseys of the stars that would need to make up their checklist. Because rookie game used cards never happen, that takes care of itself with event used materials from different signings they complete, but up until now, there was no indication that Upper Deck had figured out a plan to acquire college game used for their veteran subjects.

Check out these event used style “player worn” materials from 2013 SPX:

2013 SPX John Elway Jumbo Patch Auto /3

2013 SPX Dan Marino Jumbo Patch Auto /3

2013 SPX Bart Starr Retro Rookie Premier Quad Jersey Auto

2013 SPX Barry Sanders/Bo Jackson/Earl Campbell Triple Jersey /99

For a year or two, they included pro swatches in their veteran based cards, which led to compatibility complaints from the base of collectors. Because we all knew that college jerseys of some of the older guys were rare and extremely expensive, it became a running joke that schools had changed their primary colors for the sake of the player’s inclusion in the set.

After a while, Upper Deck seemed to have exhausted their stash, and moved away from veteran jersey cards all together. With 2013 SPX, they seem to have decided enough was enough. Rather than go out and find the rare college game used materials, they took a page from the rookie premiere, and decided to make their own. Of course, this is a resourceful idea, but I fail to see the appeal of veteran and retired event used jersey cards. This is a slippery slope and I sincerely hope that other companies dont catch on to this and use it in a pro licensed product. It would truly be the biggest cop out in the modern era.

Lets be honest, how many Mississippi Valley State jerseys are there for Jerry Rice? Not many. Does that give UD license to issue screen printed patch cards he wore at a signing instead? That’s up to you. Personally, I would much rather have a plain ole Jerry Rice auto, swatch be damned. There is no reason to believe that on card autographs on incredibly amazing looking cards isnt enough for most collectors. I wouldnt think the true issue would be finding jerseys, Im guessing the challenge itself is finding high quality pictures to use.

For the record, I have ZERO event used jersey cards in my collection that dont have an autograph attached to them. I dont believe in collecting those cards because I dont see much connection in a jersey worn for a few seconds at an event. I do know that for the sake of aesthetics, and the demands of the consumer, they are necessary. However, I am not a fan.

It will be up to us to determine value on these new breed of event used, and I am already seeing that collectors seem to not understand what they are buying. Par for the course I guess.

3 thoughts on “2013 SPX Football: Upper Deck Takes Event Used to A New Level

  1. As a College Football fan, I’ve been a big fan of UD’s sets (except for the SP’s in the base product) since they got the CLC license. However I’ve always been focused on the guys coming out, not the Legends, so I haven’t noticed the “Jersey was Worn for Upper Deck” statement. I don’t like this practice and it feels wrong. I’m struggling to determine why it’s worse than the Rookie Premier jerseys, but I’m scratching the Herschel Walker Jersey card off my list right now.

  2. Who finds value in these cards? Probably the same people that spent their fine art budget on Thomas Kinkade paintings. I really wonder if buyers understand what they are getting with these, as well as with what comes out of the Rookie Premiere. How long until event used Babe Ruth jerseys start popping up? Strewn over his headstone for a moment and then cut up for UD’s latest “SP Event Used” product.

    This is one area where the industry is already sliding on the slippery slope. I can’t support this and part of me thinks it’s unethical. For the new collector or the person that doesn’t keep up on the industry, they will snatch these cards up thinking they are getting old game used materials of their favorite players. If we already experienced the Junk Wax era in card collecting, then the industry continues laying the work for the Junk Jersey era.

    If you think event used jerseys patches are “sick mojo”, then I have a brand new iPhone I’ll sell you for $100: http://www.wimp.com/iphoneeuros/

  3. You are right about a slippery slope but I’m afraid this is just going to be the norm from here on out. In fact, on a macro scale I don’t think the market places value on “game worn” vs. “event worn”. As an example, I have a 2 color prime patch of Ed “Too Tall” Jones from 2012 Crown Royale. It clearly states on the card that the material is game worn but it doesn’t seem like buyers want to pay more for the concept that a 2 color game worn jersey is very rare. So, as a seller I’m left to keep it in my collection or sell it for 10% more than a 1 color. IMO, a 2 color GAME WORN piece is much more valuable than 1 color. Obviously I’m biased but my point is that the market seems to value fancy colors over authenticity.

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