The Collegiate Licensing Company has awarded a multi-year contract to Panini America, bringing more than 400 schools under the Dallas-based company’s umbrella and opening up new product opportunities. CLC has nearly 200 partner institutions, including Alabama, Florida State, Texas Christian University, The University of Michigan and Texas A&M.
The news is in addition to Panini’s previously announced exclusive relationships with the University of Oregon, University of Texas, Mississippi State, Baylor University, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Miami and more than 200 additional schools.
Notre Dame signed a contract with Upper Deck late last year.
“Since entering the U.S. market in 2009, Panini has quickly become a leader in the trading card category in understanding consumers and developing unique programs for its partners,” said Dave Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Non-Apparel Brand Management for CLC, the licensing affiliate of IMG College. “Panini’s management team is committed to growing the college category and using their resources and distribution capabilities to benefit our partner institutions.”
Panini will begin producing collegiate trading card products in the spring of 2015 when it will likely produce a pre-NFL draft set that will include players in their collegiate uniforms, some of which will carry autographs. Press Pass, which had produced a pre-draft set, went out of business late last week. SAGE, another pre-draft provider of cards, does not have a collegiate license. Upper Deck’s collegiate contract expires in March.
Panini has an exclusive NBA license and the collegiate contract will also allow it to produce pre-draft sets for basketball as well.
“We are excited to add the Collegiate Licensing Company’s partner institutions to our collegiate trading card program,” said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America in a news release. “Our strong product portfolio within our professional sports programs gives us the unique opportunity to showcase professional athletes in their collegiate uniforms and will bring a wider array of product offerings on behalf of the schools and will not only benefit fans of those individual schools but college sports fans overall. We look forward to building compelling collegiate trading card products beginning in the spring of 2015.”
An indication that the college trading card licenses would be shaken came in October when Panini announced it had agreed to terms with the Georgia, Kentucky and Miami. More announcements followed.
On Thursday, Upper Deck re-released a statement it made in the fall after Panini began gobbling up licenses. The company says it will continue to utilize its college license “through March with several compelling licensed collegiate products releasing in the coming months”.
The agreements will mark the first time since 2009 that Panini America will include college-branded cards within its NBA, NFL and MLBPA trading card products. They will take effect with the release of Panini America’s 2015 NFL/NFLPA trading card products, 2014-15 NBA and 2015 MLBPA products launching in spring of 2015.
“This is a significant announcement not just for us, but for the entire trading card industry,” Warsop stated at the time.
According to CLC, the schools producing the most royalties from July 1, 2013 to July 30 of this year were Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Texas A&M and North Carolina. The complete list is below.
According to CLC, Upper Deck ranked 19th in revenue among its non-apparel licensees during that time period in a category led by EA Sports, Wilson and Rawlings. Marketing executives are no doubt hoping Panini can improve that position.
|1. Texas||26. Arizona State||51. Pittsburgh|
|2. Alabama||27. Arizona||52. East Carolina|
|3. Michigan||28. Washington||53. Rutgers|
|4. Notre Dame||29. Virginia Tech||54. Montana|
|5. Georgia||30. Duke||55. Boston College|
|6. Florida||31. Oregon State||56. Vanderbilt|
|7. LSU||32. Illinois||57. UCF|
|8. Florida State||33. Syracuse||58. Fresno State|
|9. Texas A&M||34. UCLA||59. Northwestern|
|10. North Carolina||35. Mississippi||60. Georgetown|
|11. Auburn||36. Minnesota||61. Wyoming|
|12. Oklahoma||37. Purdue||62. New Mexico|
|13. Nebraska||38. Stanford||63. Louisiana-Lafayette|
|14. Arkansas||39. Washington State||64. U.S. Military Academy|
|15. Wisconsin||40. Utah||65. Texas State|
|16. Tennessee||41. California||66. Nevada|
|17. South Carolina||42. Boise State||67. South Florida|
|18. Penn State||43. Maryland||68. Marshall|
|19. Missouri||44. Virginia||69. Wake Forest|
|20. West Virginia||45. TCU||70. James Madison|
|21. Kansas||46. Cincinnati||71. Montana State|
|22. Clemson||47. Connecticut||72. Delaware|
|23. Oklahoma State||48. BYU||73. Gonzaga|
|24. Louisville||49. Colorado||74. Boston University|
|25. Texas Tech||50. Georgia Tech||75. Villanova|
Join in the discussion of this story on our Facebook page.