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Topps, MLS announce exclusive trading card deal

 

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Topps and Major League Soccer announced an exclusive license agreement on Monday.

The license is for trading cards, player stickers, sticker albums and other collectibles.

“Exclusive is definitely something that is important for us,” said Topps brand manager Jeff Heckman. “We look to grow the category certainly. That is something that is important to us.”

MLS is considered a growth area with more and more fans embracing soccer in the United States. The MLS sits at 19 teams, but it’s not one of the premier leagues in the world just yet – a goal MLS commissioner Don Garber stated he is aiming for by 2022.

In an April survey done in by World Soccer, MLS ranked as the seventh best soccer league in the world. The survey was based on attendance, finances, goals, competitiveness, caliber of players, coaches, stadiums and success in continental matches. German Bundesliga was number one with the English Premier League ranking second.

However, many see a growth potential including Topps.

“I just think it’s a league that is really on the rise,” Heckman said. “Soccer is an interesting place for us right now. As far as professional leagues, it’s always a bit slower. But with fan support and adoption, I think you have seen it grow in the last five to 10 years.”

The license is for multiple years giving Topps time to build the brand.

Along with trading cards that will release this summer (see a preview here), Topps will also create collectibles in the market.

“We are exploring that right now,” Heckman said. “There is nothing we are ready to release. But you have seen some of the things we have done in baseball. We are looking at those types of products.”

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.

6 Comments

Another lost license for Upper Deck. How many more nails to shut that coffin? So sad. I really liked Upper Deck in their hey day.

Posted May 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
Matt

The monopoly grows…

Posted May 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
Robert Braxton

Lol … who didn’t see that coming?

Just do a salute (Topps) to the old NASL league and players and you’ll have my continued applause.

Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
Trey

Don’t know if I’d refer to the MLS as a nail in the coffin for Upper Deck. It’s probably more like a staple or a thumbtack as I’m guessing the demand for soccer trading cards isn’t that great. If it was you can be sure that Upper Deck would have put out multiple releases (i.e. SP Authentic MLS) during each season through the years.

Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
KZed

I just recently discovered Upper Decks recent releases of Soccer, and I thought they were some of their best stuff. I’m actually saddened by this, I don’t think Topps has the right stuff for this kind of product….

Posted May 14, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink
Allan Boyd

I agree. From a European perspective this is a sad day for the serious card collector. Here in Europe the Topps brand is known as a children’s product, average age about 8 years old for cards and younger for stickers. Upper deck and Futera are the only serious card brands for football (soccer) here. If you check eBay you will understand what I am saying, Topps soccer you can buy by the kilo (ib).

Posted May 15, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

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