The USA Baseball trading card license has a new home. At Monday’s corporate address during the 2012 Industry Summit in Las Vegas, officials from both organizations confirmed hat Panini America has reached an exclusive multi-year agreement with USA Baseball beginning with the 2012 season.
The deal makes Panini America the Official Baseball Card of USA Baseball and grants Panini America exclusive trading card category rights to all USA Baseball marks as well as the annual Collegiate, 18U and 15U National Teams.
Topps had held the license previously, and in fact, the two had announced a ‘multi-year agreement’ in March of 2010. Prior to that, Upper Deck held it for several years.
Panini America will incorporate members of the 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team into 2012 Prime Cuts in October and will include members of the 18U and 15U National Teams in 2012 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball in December. Both products will include autographs and game-used equipment cards from the team members.
The annual USA Baseball National Teams Box Set will join Panini America’s portfolio of baseball products with the 2012 product scheduled for release on or near “Black Friday” in November. The 2012 box set will feature all 62 members of the 2012 USA Baseball National Teams and will return to a hobby-only distribution plan.
“Some of the greatest players of all time made their marks with USA Baseball long before they made their marks as professional players,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “This new agreement gives us the exclusive opportunity to introduce fans and collectors to tomorrow’s stars.”
“Panini America has already shown they are as passionate about the USA Baseball brand as we are, and we know its passion will show in the products it manufactures with USA Baseball’s National Team players,” said USA Baseball COO David Perkins. “We are thrilled to be working with Panini America to bring our pastime’s future to collectors and fans.”