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Fanatics Strikes Trading Card Deal with NBA

  • Fresh off its deal with MLB and the MLBPA, Fanatics struck a trading card deal with the NBA and its players association.
  • It also has a deal with the NFL's players association.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Fanatics unseated the biggest name in baseball trading cards last week — and it’s just getting started.

The Jacksonville-based company has secured a deal with the NBA and its players association to replace Panini as the league’s card maker, per The Athletic. Fanatics will hold exclusive rights to produce trading cards bearing NBA intellectual property starting in 2026.

Fanatics, primarily an online sports merchandise company, is starting a trading card company. The NBA, NBPA, MLB, MLBPA, and NFLPA will all hold equity stakes.

The deal is the latest move in a momentous August for Fanatics. 

  • Last week, news surfaced that Fanatics had ousted Topps as MLB’s cardmaker. Topps and a SPAC called off a planned $1.3 billion merger in the wake of the news, and both sides are mulling legal action.
  • The company is planning a move into sports betting. It partnered with Jay-Z on a bid to be one of the permitted mobile sportsbooks in New York State starting next year.

Earlier this month, Fanatics raised $325 million at an $18 billion valuation.

Before Topps’ business was upended last Thursday, it had posted impressive quarterly earnings on Wednesday with a 78% year-over-year increase in net sales to $212.2 million.

The NFL hasn’t struck a deal with Fanatics’ new trading card company yet, but that could change before its current deal with Panini expires.

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