Fanatics acquires trading card brand Topps

January 4th, 2022

Fanatics, a global sports platform and digital retailer, announced Tuesday that it has completed its purchase of Topps’ sports and entertainment division, which includes all parts of its trading cards and collectibles business.

Fanatics launched its trading cards venture in 2021 after securing exclusive, long-term rights agreements with MLB and the MLB Players Association, the NBA and the NBA Players Association and the NFL Players Association. Via its purchase of Topps, Fanatics will obtain trading cards rights from Major League Soccer, Formula 1, UEFA and Bundesliga as well.

Topps has been the leading name in the baseball trading cards sphere for more than a half-century. The company celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2021. Fanatics was set to gain MLB’s exclusive trading card rights starting in '26, but the company’s acquisition of Topps means it can start designing, manufacturing and distributing baseball cards immediately.

“With trading cards and collectibles being a significant pillar of our long-term plans to become the leading digital sports platform, we are excited to add a leading trading cards company to build out our business,” Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. “Their iconic brand, commitment to product excellence and passionate employees worldwide will allow us to immediately serve our league and players’ association partners and our fans.”

According to Fanatics’ announcement, all of the approximately 350 global Topps sports & entertainment employees will become part of Fanatics Trading Cards. Topps’ global vice president/general manager David Leiner and VP/global GM of digital Tobin Lent will continue to run Topps within Fanatics Trading Cards.