Sunday, January 23, 2022
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Fanatics To Acquire Topps Sports & Entertainment

In increasingly rare transactional news, online retailer Fanatics has struck a deal to acquire renowned trading card company Topps Sports & Entertainment, through Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams of Sportico. Topps Sports & Entertainment represents the collectible card and the collectible digital part of the largest company The Topps Co. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

News of the deal reported tonight comes in the wake of last year’s revelation that Major League Baseball and MLBPA would not renew their long-standing agreement with Topps. Instead, the league and players’ union pivoted and partnered with Fanatics on a long-term deal, granting the online sports retailer exclusive trading card licenses.

Although the Fanatics Trading Cards brand has yet to launch a single product, recent ratings for this part of the Fanatics business have skyrocketed. Thanks in part to the revival of enthusiasm for collectible cards over the past two years, a recent valuation of Fanatics collectible cards now stands at $ 10.4 billion. Both MLB and MLBA are shareholders in Fanatics’ new collectible card business, creating an ongoing source of income for both parties.

In one room According to the Wall Street Journal, Jared Diamond and Andrew Beaton note that the Fanatics’ initial deal with MLB in August was not to begin until after the 2025 season. Likewise, licensing deals with the NFL and NBA were also to be concluded. a few years from the start, slowing Fanatics’ push into the collectible card space. However, the acquisition of the Topps Sports & Entertainment division will allow Fanatics to accelerate its foray into this part of the entertainment market years ahead of schedule. In addition to the immediate distribution rights to the baseball cards, Fanatics also acquires licenses from Major League Soccer, UEFA and Formula 1 as part of the deal.

The implications of this acquisition will be far-reaching, although it most directly increases the grip of fanatics on a growing industry. The Topps Company will now see its business activities extend only to its candy and gift card divisions, with the exception of any other activity of the Company’s ownership group. Sports leagues around the world are now poised to see increased revenue streams from their new licensing deals and stakes with Fanatics.

For baseball and its players’ union, this news looms against a still stagnant lockdown context. The financial ramifications of this deal are unlikely to have an immediate impact on the state of the lockdown, although it appears that another party, Fanatics, now has its interests more fully aligned with the upcoming 2022 baseball season. goes as planned.




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