US: Topps becomes official baseball card of Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and Topps have announced an exclusive multi-year licensing deal.

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Topps will have exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event and Club trademarks, logos and other IP, for use on baseball cards, stickers and certain other product categories featuring MLB players. The exclusivity deal begins on January 1st, 2010.

The deal could signify a further blow to Upper Deck, who recently signed a deal with the company to produce cards for 2010, after it also lost the Yu-Gi-Oh licence in April.

The new deal makes Topps the first exclusive baseball card company of the MLB in nearly 30 years, as the company looks to expand its efforts to invigorate the category, continue launching new products, improve the retail and collecting experience and make cards more relevant to children.

The first exclusive product will be the 2010 Topps Baseball Series 1 to be unveiled in the US next February. 

Topps is based in New York, with its European business managed from UK offices based in Milton Keynes.

Howard Smith, senior vice president of licensing, MLBP commented: “Topps has over the years clearly distinguished itself as the leader in the industry and the best brand in the business.

"This exclusive agreement with Topps follows similar arrangements in other categories that have resulted in superior products for fans and in turn unprecedented business success.”

Michael Eisner and The Tornante Company acquired The Topps Company in 2007 along with Madison Dearborn Partners.

Eisner added: “We are looking forward to working closely with MLB Properties and its Clubs to invest in innovation and creativity to bring baseball cards and other collectible items to new audiences for many years to come."

Topps CEO and president Scott Silverstein concluded: “Topps has been making baseball cards for over 50 years and signed our first agreement with Major League Baseball Properties in 1969. Now, 40 years later, we are delighted to be taking this relationship to new heights.”



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