The Upper Deck Company has announced a Social Media Awards program with prizes going to the top five vote-getters in community, blog, and video categories. Chris Carlin, sports marketing manager for Upper Deck explained:

We felt that creating an award program that helps collectors find the best sites on the web would be a win-win for our collectors and for those who have put so much into these communities, blogs and videos. No other manufacturer has done what we have in terms of creating ways to engage our collectors through social media. So it only makes sense that Upper Deck should be the company that takes the lead in helping collectors find what it is they’re looking for online.

So what will Upper Deck be doing for these stars of trading-card social media? Awarding prizes that include a link on the company’s web site, mention on the Upper Deck Blog, and for the number one in each category a trophy and some free samples.

Forgive me for being underwhelmed by Upper Deck’s gesture. Given the company’s current reputation, instead of positioning itself as the bestower of awards, I think maybe it should concentrate on delivering whole and legitimate products.

But if you’re inclined toward irony and find our service valuable, feel free to drop by Upper Deck’s Facebook page and nominate Purple Pawn.