Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Topps Company today announced an exclusive multi-year licensing deal to make Topps the Official Baseball Card of Major League Baseball. Topps will have exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event and Club trademarks, logos and other intellectual property, for use on baseball cards, stickers and certain other product categories featuring MLB players. Topps’ exclusivity begins on January 1, 2010.
Financial terms were not released.
Topps will become the first exclusive baseball card company of MLB in nearly 30 years. Topps’ first exclusive product will be its 2010 Topps Baseball Series 1 to be unveiled next February.
“Generations of baseball fans have grown more connected to the game through collecting baseball cards,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We look forward to partnering with Topps to restore baseball cards as the game’s premiere collectable.”
“Topps has over the years clearly distinguished itself as the leader in the industry and the best brand in the business,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. “This exclusive agreement with Topps follows similar arrangements in other categories that have resulted in superior products for fans and in turn unprecedented business success.”
Michael Eisner and The Tornante Company, a private investment company he founded in 2005, acquired The Topps Company, Inc. in 2007 along with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.
“We are looking forward to working closely with MLB Properties and its Clubs to invest in innovation and creativity to bring baseball cards and other collectible items to new audiences for many years to come,” said Eisner.
“Topps has been making baseball cards for over 50 years and signed our first agreement with Major League Baseball Properties in 1969,” said Topps CEO and President Scott Silverstein. “Now, 40 years later, we are delighted to be taking this relationship to new heights.”
Source: Major League Baseball
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.
Follow Maury Brown and the Business of Sports Network on Twitter