Panini signs deal with three universities

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America is going back to school.

The card company has signed exclusive deals with three major universities — the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky and the University of Miami — and will use their trademarks in upcoming card products that include NBA, NFL and MLBPA releases. According to a company release, there will be more schools’ deals announced soon.

“This is a significant announcement not just for us, but for the entire trading card industry,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop in a prepared release. “Some of the most-collectible players that we work with across all sports are closely associated with these three universities and we’re genuinely excited to be able to honor their collegiate accomplishments in our products.”

Upper Deck had previously locked up a college exclusive in 2010 with a Collegiate Licensing Company deal, which prevented all other companies from using college trademarks in their products.

This new deal will commence with this year’s NFL brands, the forthcoming NBA brands and all 2015 baseball brands from Panini America.

“College sports fans are some of the most rabid and loyal fans on the planet,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. “We are looking forward to creating meaningful marketing activations with our collegiate partners to establish a deeper connection to college sports fans and the universities they root for.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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3 comments

  1. Steve-O 23 October, 2014 at 21:08

    so ????? Are we to just be left guessing, on the ‘2009 Upper Deck deal’ and if its still in affect ?

    I remember a few years back when a company sure seemed to have it all……..then slowly but surely, things started falling apart and licensing deals were dropping off the table. I personally thought the company was headed for disaster {i.e.; Bankruptcy}, but alas…….I was wrong

  2. Paul 24 October, 2014 at 00:39

    I have a very bad feeling about this kind of deal.
    Panini is slowly but surely invading the trading card world and this new deal is a blow in the UD’s college deal.
    Except Topps with its MLB deal, I don’t see you would buy something else than Panini’s cards and that’s a very bad sign for me.

    After my idea, We shoulf break the one brand sport rule for all major sports and keep the college cards free to access for any brand.

    I really miss the 90’s in this aspect.

  3. card opinionator 24 October, 2014 at 09:49

    Some unanswered questions here. Does this bust up the CLC? Can UD not use these three schools?

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