Fanatics accomplished the hat trick on Wednesday after signing deals with three of the biggest sports leagues in the US, as reports indicate the details of the company’s trading card deal with the NFL Players Association.
The 20-year agreement begins in 2026 when the league’s present deal with Panini expires. There is no sign of Fanatics confirming a deal with the NFL itself, but doing so would indicate the pattern of Fanatics’ other recent deals.
The NFLPA authorizes players’ names, images, and likenesses, whereas the NFL holds rights to team and league logos.
Earlier this month, Fanatics discussed a deal with MLB and MLBPA to make baseball cards starting in 2023. Fanatics made a similar deal with the NBA and NBPA earlier this week to swap Panini as its cardmaker in 2026. Fanatics will reveal a trading card company, and MLB, MLBPA, NBA, NBPA, and NFLPA will all hold equity stakes.
Fanatics elevated $325 million on an $18 billion appraisal this month, has specified that it will expand into sports betting, gaming, and ticketing.
The company’s rise in price also benefits the NFL: The league acquired a stake of 3% in Fanatics in 2017 for $95 million.
The consequences of these deals are already causing an undulation effect. Word of Fanatics’ deal with MLB and the MLBPA was out just as Topps was going towards a merger with Mudick Captial, which would have seen the new company become publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Later, that deal was called off.
Fanatics is supposed to be commencing a new sports card company that will oversee these initiatives with the StockX co-founder, Josh Luber, heading it. Both the leagues and players associations will have equity in this new company as well.