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Old 01-29-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default Upper Deck Launches New Sports-Themed Virtual World for Kids

Upper Deck Launches New Sports-Themed Virtual World for Kids

Revolutionary, interactive online world to be called ‘UpperDeckU’

North Las Vegas, NV (January 26, 2009) – The Upper Deck Company is proud to announce the debut of a new, sports-themed virtual world for kids that marries physical trading cards to a massive, multiplayer online gaming experience (MMOG). The new site – UpperDeck U - Coming Soon! – will offer boys and girls a place to share their passion for sports, competing, socializing and online game play in a safe, fun-filled virtual world environment. The key to unlock the expansive features of UpperDeckU is to enter special codes printed on the inside of foil wrappers of select Upper Deck sports card releases debuting with 2009 Upper Deck Series One Baseball. UpperDeckU will officially launch on Feb. 3, 2009, to coincide with the in-store arrival date of the aforementioned baseball release.

What makes Upper Deck’s new online gaming experience revolutionary is that it marks the first time a true virtual world and MMOG will feature officially licensed team gear and player assets combined with the support of an existing offline product. And although the special wrapper codes debut in 2009 UD1 Baseball, additional wrapper codes will follow just one week later inside Upper Deck’s 2008-09 Series Two Hockey release. Only select 2009 “kid-friendly” brands from the industry leader – such as Upper Deck, First Edition and Collector’s Choice – will feature the special game-play codes printed inside the wrappers.

“UpperDeckU really makes baseball card collecting relevant to today’s kids. Our site links real-world card collecting with an engaging online game and social experience,” said Louise Curcio, Upper Deck’s vice president of Marketing. “It’s a win-win situation for hobby dealers and shop owners as well since UpperDeckU should translate into more and more pack purchases by kids who already engage in online games and virtual world sites.”

Building on the ingrained passion kids already possess for sports and games, UpperDeckU blends digital and real-world trading cards into this new social virtual experience. At launch, UpperDeckU will feature environments for baseball and hockey, but additional sports “Decks” will follow throughout the year. UpperDeckU allows participants to create their own avatars, build personal spaces, play games, socialize in real time with other kids, and join teams and clubs. What’s more, kids can earn achievements and “level up” as they progress through UpperDeckU’s virtual world.

Upper Deck will support its latest online initiative with significant TV, print and online advertising in both the U.S. and Canada beginning in early March. The ads will prominently feature Upper Deck sports card packs as the keys to accessing the new virtual world.

Hobby shop owners interested in obtaining free UpperDeckU promotional kits, which include posters, point-of-purchase displays and sample packs, can either email, or call 1-888-752-9832.
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