Carlsbad’s Upper Deck Continues Upward Trend

August 18, 2021

It isn’t a secret that new and innovative companies continue to move to Carlsbad, but some companies have long called the beach city home. Upper Deck, the leading company behind trading cards, has been headquartered in Carlsbad for 30 years.

Founded in 1988 in Yorba Linda by Boris Korbel, Paul Sumner and Richard McWilliam — Upper Deck relocated to Carlsbad in 1991. In the last three decades, the private company has succeeded in dominating the space of premium trading cards, autographed memorabilia, games and collectibles by following three core brand tenets: authenticity, innovation and quality.

Heroic Inspirations Wall’  features avid card collectors of recognized fans & inspirational athletes facing health challenges to help build awareness and funds for those causes.

Jadon Masherah, president of Upper Deck since 2013, said the company has been able to meet demands because they take a people-centric approach to business.

The two most important things are to listen to the market and hire great people,” said Masherah, who has worked with the company for 15 years in different roles. “Doing this allows us to adjust and create the highest quality, most valuable cards, games, collectibles and memorabilia in the world.”

In recent years, Upper Deck has seen more interest in trading cards in particular. 

“Collecting trading cards is a fun, wholesome hobby that families can enjoy together,” Masherah said. “We’ve been focused on that experience for a number of years and that family experience has really resonated with sports and entertainment fans. Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s are now having kids of our own, and are passing the excitement of collecting down to our kids. It is rewarding to see the special moments that are created in families everyday as they collect together.”

Outside of Upper Deck headquarters

Despite the hardships that have risen with the COVID-19 pandemic, Masherah said the company continues to see growth in part because of his team’s ability to remain flexible. Without live sporting events, fans looked for other ways to engage with their favorite teams and players. As a wholesome hobby that can be enjoyed by the entire family or fans of any age, collecting was a natural fit. 

“The Last Dance”, the Netflix docuseries about Michael Jordan and the famed Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 90s, combined with the desire to reorganize our homes had people digging out old cards and collectibles, which resulted in a renewed excitement around collectibles and investing in the category as a whole.

“There have been continual supply chain disruptions, which poses challenges on multiple levels,” he said. “Like many companies, we’ve had to adopt technologies to allow the workforce to work remotely where possible. Driving innovation and creativity, as well as training new employees is very tough to do remotely. The good news is that our company has been growing — even during this challenging environment, and we continue to look for great talent to join our team here in Carlsbad.” 

In fact, the company’s location in Carlsbad has been key to continued success for Upper Deck. Masherah said the community continues to be supportive, serving as an “incubator for innovative companies.”

But, Upper Deck isn’t just on the receiving end of goodwill — the company takes an active role in supporting several community groups as well, including the Carlsbad Boys and Girls Club.

We love to give back to the community and the Boys and Girls Club is a natural fit for us to support,” Masherah said. “In addition to the Boys and Girls Club, we also hold several blood drives a year, partner with the food bank on a food drive at Thanksgiving, and partner with Toys for Tots for a toy drive at Christmas. Additionally, we host a Trick-or-Trade event annually where we provide thousands of packs of cards to local law enforcement to promote safe trick-or-treating at Halloween.”

Celebrating Halloween with the annual Upper Deck Trick-or-Trade event

As Upper Deck looks to the future, Masherah said they have plenty of open positions for local residents and he’s eager to grow the company’s Carlsbad headquarters for years to come. 

I think we accomplished what we set out to do and I am very proud of what our team has created here,” he said. 

To learn more about Upper Deck or to see a list of open positions, go to the  Upper Deck Careers page