Why Panini America Will Likely Stop Making Sports Cards in 2025: The End of Prizm

Why Panini America Will Likely Stop Making Sports Cards in 2025: The End of Prizm

Why Panini America Will Likely Stop Making Sports Cards i...

Legal Battle with Fanatics

 

Last month, Panini America sued Fanatics for antitrust violations, and in response, Fanatics countersued Panini for unfair competition, tortious interference, and breach of good faith. In this case, the legal dispute is over the fact that Fanatics has signed exclusive deals with major sports leagues that were previously held by Panini. The meat of the issue lies in the current legal implications of this monumental shift in contract rulings.
Fanatics, the aggressive new sports merchandise behemoth, that is entrenching itself in sports with unprecedented power and reach, one that has been able to take licenses away from Panini, Topps, or both away for itself from the NBA, NBPA, MLB, MLBPA, NFL and NFLPA in long-lasting exclusive deals it signed without much hassle. The migration of licenses has hit Panini especially hard with the potential loss of basketball and hockey to Fanatics next year.

Key Departures

In addition to that, Panini America has been able to see a number of its top employees ditching the firm in favor of Fanatics and Topps. They just keep losing key talent and top level executives, and eventually, it WILL make a tangible impact on what Panini is capable of doing effectively in the industry. The threat of losing basketball and football licenses to Fanatics the following year, meanwhile, would leave Panini license-less in all major sports, the potential blow to its position in the market made worse.


The Acquisition

However, it seems like Topps may be poised to do very well indeed in the trading card world going forward as last month they secured deals to license basketball and football cards from 2025. Having entered the space with vast sports trading card experience, with the NBA and NFL rights with Panini set to expire in 2026 and 2025. If Topps is successful in making strategic maneuvers in the basketball and football card market, which are also among the highest in the world, it should lead to significant additional profits. Topps will be able to expand its market share and improve the financial outlook of its sports collectibles segment as a result of the increasing demand for sports trading cards and the excitement regarding the new license agreements.


Fanatics' Growing Dominance


The transformation of Fanatics into a major power in sports trading cards has sparked concerns about a monopoly. Aggressive licensing strategy by Fanatics, and expansion into the new verticals such as trading cards and sports betting, quickly made Fanatics a 'market maker. The $31 billion valuation of Fanatics indirectly underscores how powerful the company may grow, and how it could change the entire industry.


In the End

Ultimately, Panini America faces an uphill battle, with the legal dispute with Fanatics, the loss of essential licensing deals, and the departure of top personnel creating a contentious landscape. The emergence of Fanatics as a power player in the industry raises new questions about competition and market dynamics moving forward. While the legal drama unfolds as well as the changing dynamics of the sports trading card industry, the future of Panini America remains uncertain, and for a long institute, it could be disappearing.

 


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