Topps has been the leading baseball card producer since the 1950s, but Fanatics is reportedly swooping in to completely disrupt the market.
Wednesday brought about an impressive second-quarter earnings report for Topps: a 77.7% increase in net sales to $212.2 million. By the end of Thursday, news surfaced that MLB and the MLBPA had ended their 70-year relationship with the iconic company.
Who’s taking their place? None other than Fanatics — and they’re going for more than baseball.
MLB, the NBA, both of the unions representing their players, and the NFLPA have struck deals that give their exclusive trading card licenses to a new company controlled by Fanatics. Each league and all three unions get equity stakes in the joint venture.
- MLBPA executive director Tony Clark says it’s the largest deal the union has ever done and one of many that will bring in close to $2 billion through 2045.
- The union deal starts in 2023, while the MLB one kicks off in 2026.
This development comes just days before a meeting where shareholders are set to vote on a proposed merger between Topps and SPAC Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation II — a deal that would value the combined entity at $1.3 billion and result in a public listing.