The landmark changes that allow more freedom for current college athletes to profit from promotions and marketing is spreading to trading cards.
On Thursday, Panini America announced an exclusive landmark agreement with a group licensing organization that will give Panini the ability to produce trading cards of current college athletes. The deal between Panini and One Team Partners will open the doors to a variety of new products, both physical and digital.
Panini says it has plans to produce cards for college football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and Olympic sports.
“The trading card market is booming, and Panini is the leader in the category. With its existing current college licenses, there is an amazing opportunity to make co-branded college and current college athlete cards for the first time in history – across schools and men’s and women’s sports,” said Ahmad Nassar, CEO of OneTeam. “The group licensing model is key to including athletes in broad-based licensed products like this.”
The multi-year agreement includes the rights for both physical trading cards and digital trading cards including on Panini’s NFT/Blockchain platform, as well as its real-time, direct-to-consumer Panini Instant platform. Panini has plans to launch on-demand co-branded college and player products this fall.
“We are excited to work with OneTeam in the college space. OneTeam will bring much-needed resources and group licensing expertise to college athletes as they navigate the new NIL landscape,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “OneTeam’s College Athlete Group Licensing program will give us the ability to reach a wide range of athletes across multiple schools and develop products that cut across all sports on both the men’s and women’s side.”
OneTeam is a recently launched joint venture between the NFL and MLB Players Associations and RedBird Capital Partners.