Fanatics Collectibles and Topps are launching a new physical and digital trading cards business for college sports, they announced Thursday. The memorabilia companies have inked deals with more than 100 schools around the country, they said.
The products offered will include both exclusive and non-exclusive co-branded trading cards with official university trademarks and current athletes, as well as former athletes who play in the NFL, NBA and MLB.
Topps said it acquired exclusive, multi-year rights deals that take effect between 2023 and 2025 with more than 35 programs, including a majority of the Power 5 schools. Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Oregon and Wisconsin are among the schools with exclusive deals beginning next year.
Topps has additionally secured name, image and likeness rights for trading cards with nearly 200 college athletes in football and basketball. Bryce Young, Stetson Bennett, Bo Nix, Caleb Williams and Aliyah Boston are among those involved.
“This collection is the first offering of officially licensed collegiate cards featuring current athlete NIL rights. We’re thrilled at the opportunity to launch these comprehensive programs that combine premier student-athletes and elite institutions to create a best-in-class collegiate trading card product for fans and collectors, ”David Leiner, Topps global vice president and general manager, said in a release.
Fanatics acquired Topps in January. The digital retail juggernaut bought up licensing rights from MLB, the MLBPA, the NBA, the NBPA and the NFLPA last year.
(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)