July 10, 2008

Kobe Bryant’s NBA MVP Selection Ignites Idealized, Iconic Art Campaign By Shepard Fairey

CARLSBAD, Calif., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- It's so big you can't miss it. It stands nearly 60 feet high and two vinyl reproductions of it adorn the east and west walls outside the landmark Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. It celebrates superstardom in a whole new way and makes Hollywood-and-Vine a relevant place to be these days. "It" is a unique, commemorative art piece that commemorates Kobe Bryant's NBA MVP season just turned in by the 29-year-old shooting guard of the Los Angeles Lakers.

   (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080710/LATH516LOGO-a)   (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080710/LATH516-b)  

Bryant, who led his team to the NBA Finals last month, is certainly the main focus of the art. But the man behind the design -- acclaimed street artist and guerilla marketer Shepard Fairey of Los Angeles -- is also a unique find. At 38, he's firmly established himself as a world-class artist, but is also a great marketer who knows how to get the word out about his latest crusades. One recent venture included a marketing phenomenon surrounding iconic, pop art posters he created for Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. They raised awareness about the candidate and, even more importantly, raised discussions about this year's political race.

Fairey, a former student at the Rhode Island School of Design, admires the work ethic and stick-to-itiveness displayed by Bryant out on the court. And Bryant, a long-time exclusive autograph signer for Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA), was taken with some of Fairey's artwork. So in order to capture Kobe's most recent accolade, UDA approached Fairey to gauge his level of interest in producing Kobe "MVP" artwork to sell to his adoring fans. It was a match made in lithography heaven.

"It does not matter who your favorite team is, if you appreciate style, grace, and power in basketball, then you appreciate Kobe Bryant," said Fairey. "I was asked by Upper Deck to do a portrait of Kobe and it was my pleasure to be able to create a piece of iconic art for him."

Starting this week, dual-signed, single-signed and unsigned fine art lithographs by Fairey commemorating Bryant's MVP season are available at http://www.upperdeckstore.com/. The striking, purple-gold-and-black fine art lithographs, which call out either "M-V-P" or "KOBE" in gold across the bottom, all measure 20" wide by 30" high. The Bryant/Fairey dual-signed framed versions, both limited to 50, retail for $1,199.99 (KOBE) and $1,299.99 (MVP). The dual-signed, unframed versions, both limited to 50, sell for $949.99 (KOBE) and $1,049.99 (M-V-P). And the Fairey-only-signed lithographs, both limited to 100, retail for $349.99 (unframed) and $549.99 (framed).

About The Upper Deck Company

Upper Deck is a premier sports and entertainment publishing company which delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts. For more information on Upper Deck and its products please visit http://www.upperdeck.com/.

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The Upper Deck Company

CONTACT: Terry Melia, Public Relations Manager of The Upper DeckCompany, +1-760-929-3055, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.upperdeck.com/