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Fanatics To Produce Trading Cards For College Athletes

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Fanatics To Produce Trading Cards For College Athletes

Fanatics, as part of a joint venture between Fanatics Collectibles, Topps (which Fanatics acquired earlier this year for US$500 million), and more than 35 colleges, will create trading cards for current and former college athletes.

The trading cards will be created in both digital and physical forms and will have co-branding elements for athletes who have went on to become professional athletes in either the NBA, NFL, or MLB, through Fanatics’ and Topps’ existing partnerships across these leagues.

The announcement signals the growth of opportunities in the use of NCAA athletes’ name, image and likeness (NIL) rights following the NCAA’s decision to allow athletes to explore ventures to earn revenue while in college.

Signed up to the partnerships include big-name US colleges including Kansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Oregon, and many more.

The report also suggested the trading cards will cover more than 100 US college athletic departments from 2023, when non-exclusive agreements for current college athletes are considered, on top of the organisation’s existing partnerships with more than 35 colleges.

Topps global vice president and general manager, Dave Leiner, said: “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,” Leiner said.

Fanatics College executive vice president, Derek Eiler, said Fanatics and Topps have also agreed to NIL trading card deals with nearly 200 student-athletes across college football and basketball.

“Fanatics has been closely monitoring the ever-evolving NIL landscape, and we felt this was the perfect time to launch multiple, strategic college trading card programs that will allow schools and current student-athletes to create new levels of direct engagement with fans across hundreds of the top programs nationwide,” Eiler said.

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