Panini America’s push into college-oriented collectibles continued Tuesday with the company touting on its blog that it has reached exclusive trading card agreements with more than 200 additional universities that will allow it to use university trademarks and team logos in trading card products.
Panini will produce college-specific trading card sets and use college-themed cards inside its licensed NBA, NFL and MLBPA products. The cards will be released beginning in early 2015. Upper Deck had maintained an exclusive license in the category since 2010.
“This has been an exciting few weeks for Panini America and the future of licensed college trading cards and we’re proud to be at the forefront of a new era,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO. “We now have more than 225 universities signed to exclusive, multiyear trading card agreements – our unmatched retail distribution, commitment to marketing and ability to feature professional players in collegiate trading card products through our group player rights will lead to new growth in the collegiate collectibles category and all of our partners recognize that.”
Mississippi State, Baylor, North Carolina State, Kansas State, Memphis, Marquette, St. John’s Temple and dozens of other schools are part of the new deal. The schools are represented by Licensing Resource Group, a company that provides license management services for colleges and universities. LRG is owned by Learfield Sports, which is based not far from Panini’s Dallas offices.
“LRG is thrilled to partner with Panini on behalf of our clients. We are confident Panini represents the best this category has to offer and are excited about the relationship,” said Michael Van Wieren, Vice President & General Counsel, Licensing Resource Group, LLC.
Last week, Panini announced it had reached exclusive trading card agreements with Georgia, Kentucky and Miami.