Jason Masherah, President of The Upper Deck Company, living his childhood dream, from a young boy trading cards at school to running one of the biggest Trading cards, Memorabilia and Collectibles company in the world – enjoy our deep dive into the world of The Upper Deck Company, the industry and where the business is going.
How it all started, selling trading cards in middle school and attending card shows at the age of 13/14, working in trading card shop
Starting his first shop at the age of 16 before going back to school
From Electric Supply company coming back into sports, getting an MBA to get back into sports
Via short stops at the Arena Football League (Chicago Rush) to Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Bengals, finally landing at The Upper Deck company as Brand Manager for MLB & NBA
Overview of the Trading Card industry, from the first cards in the 1800 as promotion for cigarettes and chewing gums, sold as Wax packs.
In 1987/88 The Upper Deck Company was founded to create a different and much better product – big growth to mid 90s when strikes in sports Leagues created issues
Tough period in early 2000 to 2015 before growth came back, with Hockey, Baseball and Football
Primary market, big players Upper Deck, Topps and Panini and secondary trading market
Different business models by Sports Leagues in the US vs European Football leagues
Global growth vs the traditional core US sports, Europe and Asia
Business model with Rights holders and bidding processes
Sports trading cards, Entertainment trading cards and Trading card games and the differences
Three parts of the business for Upper Deck, Trading Cards, Games (Board games and trading card games) and authenticated Memorabilia
Premium product focus, big names from Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky
Digital products and the evolution of it – in 2011 first tokenization of cards, Upper Deck e-pack – digital to physical hybrid
NFTs, blockchain – Upper Deck’s Evolution platform – trading digital with physical products
Issues and challenges for primary market manufacturer playing in the secondary market (especially in NFTs)
Most NFT releases were never done with collectors in mind, it mostly was a quick money grab
Moving images, videos and animations open up a new opportunity to own a piece of history
Upper Deck’s Collect Forever – authentic third party collectibles, from Comics to Toys
Upper Deck’s Premise to provide the best and widest services for collectors globally
Fanatics purchase of Topps – changing the game
Jason’s own career path in Upper Deck over the past 17 years
Mr. Masherah oversees all day-to-day operations as President of Upper Deck, the premier worldwide sports, gaming and entertainment company. As part of his day to day duties, he is personally responsible for exclusive agreements with Upper Deck’s lineup of corporate partners, licensors and superstar athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky, Marvel, Tim Hortons, CIBC, NHL, NHL Players’ Association and more. Mr. Masherah is also responsible for revitalizing Upper Deck’s memorabilia division, as well as Upper Deck’s gaming division and the launch of Legendary, the award-winning deck building game.
Prior to his appointment as President in 2013, Mr. Masherah served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Upper Deck. Mr. Masherah has been personally credited for several core programs at Upper Deck, ranging from the Yankee Stadium Legacy program in 2008 to the Evolution video cards in 2011 to, most recently, the Upper Deck e-Pack platform in 2016, which plays a significant role in the launch of Upper Deck’s Grandeur Hockey Collector Coins.
Before his involvement with Upper Deck, Mr. Masherah worked for professional sports teams in various roles, including the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Braves. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and his undergraduate degree in Marketing from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University. Mr. Masherah currently resides in the greater San Diego area with his wife and children.