The National Hockey League (NHL), along with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), announced the long-term extensions of both of the organisations’ licenses with The Upper Deck Company to be the exclusive licensed manufacturer of physical trading cards. 

The partnership, which dates back to the 1990-91 season, includes Non-Fungible Token (NFT) trading cards that will also be part of the assortment of the licensed offerings from Upper Deck in the future.

Brian Jennings, NHL Chief Branding Officer and Senior Executive Vice President, commented: “Upper Deck continues to be a staple for hockey enthusiasts with a proven track-record of offering a broad range of trading cards and other collectible offerings that appeal to and engage new and existing fans and collectors of all ages.

“We look forward to working alongside Upper Deck and the NHLPA to continue to push the bounds of the best-in-class collecting experience, and to provide NHL fans with the most dynamic and robust offerings from the high-quality physical trading cards to the expansion of the ePack platform and the introduction of NFT trading cards, as well as the myriad of other related offerings that modern hobbyists seek.”

Upperdeck states that it places a focus on creating a good experience for collectors. In 2016, the company launched technology with its patent-pending Upper Deck e-Pack platform, allowing collectors to buy, trade and store collectibles at any time.

“Upper Deck’s focus has always been on creating the best experience possible for collectors,” added Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck. “We are able to empower the end-consumer to engage with the hobby through whatever way they prefer, whether trading card shops, mass retailers, direct to consumer, or online. For now, and into the future.”

Following the announcement, the platform is unveiling the latest extension of e-Pack with a new patent-pending NFT platform – Evolution

Expected to launch this winter, the extension looks to allow fans around the globe to collect and trade ‘never-before-seen’ licensed NFTs. Upper Deck’s online ecosystem will include a ‘vibrant secondary market’ in a bid to become a ‘go-to’ destination for new and experienced collectors alike.

This month, the NHL also renewed a partnership with Chemours in a bid to provide environmentally and economically sustainable solutions to the sport.

The partnership, originally established in 2018, promised to enhance education, technical support, innovation and sustainable solutions with Opteon refrigerants to support the NHL’s commitment to ensuring all levels of hockey ‘thrive for future generations’.

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