Like Godzilla swooping in on an unsuspecting town, Fanatics is apparently grabbing hold of yet another trading card license–one they’ll hold until today’s newborns might be parents themselves.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL Players Association has now agreed to a deal with the Florida-based sports giant.
The move follows Fanatics’ recent reported deals with Major League Baseball and the NBA along with both leagues’ players associations that will give the company full control of the market for trading cards in the three largest pro sports leagues.
Fanatics would still need to reach agreement with the NFL itself to utilize team names and logos to have fully licensed cards but that would seem to be a formality.
The moves foiled a proposed merger by Topps and Mudrick Capital that would have taken the long time baseball card maker and confectioner public and leaves the futures of both Topps and Panini America in limbo, something that seemed unfathomable just a week ago.
All parties involved in the new Fanatics deal will reportedly have equity stakes in the new card company that would be created and run by Fanatics, with input from the leagues and players.
As of now, there’s been no word on the fate of the NHL/NHLPA trading card deal currently held by Upper Deck.
Neither Fanatics, the leagues believed to be involved nor the players unions in the NBA, NFL or MLB have confirmed the new agreements. Late last week, Topps executive Andy Redman issued a statement in which he indicated the company had no idea Fanatics had been close to a deal with MLB or its players.