Breaking News: Fanatics has acquired Topps

Card Ladder
Jan 4, 20221 min read

Fanatics went on a licensing spree in 2021 acquiring licensing deals with the NBA, NFL, and MLB in addition to their player unions. Starting 2022 with an absolute BANG! Announcing that they would be acquiring Topps. When news broke that Fanatics acquired the MLB license many were afraid it would mark the end to Topps trading cards. Thankfully this will not be the case and Topps will be going strong for an additional 20+ years under the current deals.

What does it mean now?

Simply put it means nothing in the now or immediate future other than Topps isn't going to die off.

What does it mean for the next few years?

Although I am tempted to say nothing, I doubt Fanatics is not going to change anything just like I doubt they will change everything. The way the current licensing deals are structured, the only one with an expiration date soon is the MLB players union in 2023. Out of the 3 major sports Fanatics acquired, Topps only produces baseball cards. While we are likely to see some products come and go in addition to promotions.  

What does it mean for the long term?

Massive implications in the long term specifically for the basketball and football markets. As mentioned prior, Topps already produces baseball cards but as we all know Panini is the sole manufacturer for NFL and NBA cards. The licensing deals for the NFL and NBA end in 2026, so we still have a ways away until this happens. Although when it does happen we will likely see Topps modern iconic brands but NBA and NFL renditions. Products we've seen in the past for basketball and football like Chrome, Triple Threads, and Finest. With possibly getting to see Definitive basketball, the future is really unknown as far as specific products. A big fear of collectors and investors was the possibility of Fanatics having to create entirely new product names. With the acquisition of Topps, many collectors should rest assured this is not going to be the case.