NFLPA sends agents memo on unlicensed deals

When you click on links to various merchants on this site, like eBay, and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The NFL Players Association recently sent a memo to agents reminding them that signing deals with non-licensed trading card companies could end up costing their players money later.

Presently, only Topps and Panini America are fully licensed card companies with the NFL and the NFLPA, which allows unrestricted use of NFLPA members in their products once the players sign. Meanwhile, four other card companies — Press Pass, SAGE, Upper Deck and Leaf — will produce prospect cards of the players in other uniforms (only Upper Deck has NCAA logo use rights).

“Participation in the NFLPA’s group licensing program presents far more opportunities, and money, than what these unlicensed trading card companies are offering your clients,” the memo said. “It is our understanding that, not surprisingly, the unlicensed trading card companies are failing to disclose to players and/or their representatives the full ramifications of agreeing to such deals. It is up to you, as your client’s representative, to provide him with all of the relevant information and to safeguard his licensing and marketing opportunities.”

In collectors’ terms, the memo says that non-PA deals could lead to players not appearing in NFLPA-approved products — or not having autographs included early on — which would hurt the sales of those products and, in turn, money made off those products for all players involved, not just the rookies.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


When you click on links to various merchants on this site, like eBay, and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.

The Beckett Online Price Guide

The largest and most complete database in the industry. Period. Join the hundreds of thousands of collectors who have benefited from the OPG.

Subscribe Now

The Beckett Marketplace

Over 129 million cards
from 70+ dealers

Shop Now


  1. Cory Furlong 18 February, 2012 at 17:23

    I wonder if a player did appear on another companies card like a “Nike” series or something of that nature how much it would cost a player and what if the offending company could cover that amount. Would be interesting to see if something like that happened.

  2. Richard 20 February, 2012 at 22:18

    So the rookies, who might very well be cut and get NOTHING should accept that rather
    than make deal with companies because, you know, it might cut into the profits of the
    established super stars …

    Sorry NFLPA I remember the days of the quarterback club, so don’t try to make the current
    rookies who have nothing guaranteed (as opposed to say the likely top picks) feel like they
    have any obligation to the current guys with money in the bank. This is especially true for those
    players who have yet to be drafted in the first place.

Leave a reply

We use cookies to help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience. By navigating the site, you agree to the use of cookies to collect information. Read our Cookie Policy.
Accept & Close