With its baseball card future uncertain, Topps is solidifying its hold on international soccer.
Topps announced Tuesday that it has signed an extension as the exclusive and official collectibles partner of UEFA’s prestigious club cup competitions.
In addition to the UEFA Champions League, Topps has once again secured the exclusive rights for the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Women's Champions League, as well as this year’s inaugural UEFA Conference League.
It has also acquired the third-party IP clearances to create NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of selected collectibles products.
Topps says it will once again capture the greatest soccer moments, the biggest triumphs and the world’s best players on physical cards and NFTs.
"It's great to offer our community and football fans across Europe and the world not only the best players, but also the greatest moments in the upcoming seasons,” Topps CMO Patrick Rausch said. “As UEFA's exclusive partner for collectibles, we are not only taking a huge step towards the future together, but we’re also taking collectibles to the next level. Only Topps will offer physical and digital collectibles products for the UEFA Champions League and all other UEFA club competitions from the 2021/22 season onwards.”
Topps, the most iconic card brand in sports collectibles, has been producing baseball cards since 1951. It is losing its exclusive rights with the MLBA and MLB, however, with Fanatics securing those rights beginning in 2023 and 2026.
With its baseball card future uncertain, industry experts anticipated Topps strengthening its presence in soccer.
“I do think it’s a good thing for soccer cards, because I think that’s the main thing Panini and Topps are both going to have left,” Sports Card Investor Geoff Wilson said in an interview with SCD.
“I could see them putting a tremendous amount of focus over the next few years on trying to build up soccer cards and trying to really make soccer cards grow to be the market size of basketball cards, baseball cards and football cards. I think it’s possible they could succeed at that.”
Topps has been the official partner of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Women's Champions League for six years.