Sunday, January 23, 2022

Fanatics acquires Topps trading cards in $500M deal

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After more than 70 years years atop the trading card business, Topps trading cards has relinquished its throne. The e-commerce company Fanatics acquired Topps on Tuesday, and the deal is worth “roughly” $500 million, CNBC reported

The acquisition became a strong possibility last year after Fanatics secured an exclusive trading cards agreement with Major League Baseball — a league Topps had produced cards for since the early 1950s – and the MLB Players’ Association in August. Topps’ deal with the MLB was slated to end in 2025, but Fanatics’ acquisition will give it immediate control over MLB trading card production.   

While the MLB has an extensive history with Topps, it isn’t the only league with trading cards rights heading to Fanatics.

Fanatics recently acquired the trading card rights to Major League Soccer, UEFA, Bundesliga and Formula 1 with the acquisition. The company already had trading card license agreements with the National Football League Players Association and National Basketball Association dating back to last year.

The company will now own the trading card rights to every U.S. major sports league aside from the NHL, which extended its deal with Upper Deck in October. 

“With trading cards and collectibles being a significant pillar of our long-term plans to become the leading digital sports platform, we are excited to add a leading trading cards company to build out our business,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. “Their iconic brand, commitment to product excellence and passionate employees worldwide will allow us to immediately serve our league and players’ association partners and our fans.”

Fanatics reached an $18 billion valuation in 2021 and its trading card entity is currently valued at $10 billion. 

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