Panini America, the world’s largest licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company and the exclusive trading card manufacturer of the NFL, NFL Players, NBA, NBA Players, UFC, NASCAR and collegiate sports, today announced an exclusive landmark agreement with OneTeam Partners, the undisputed leader in the group licensing space. The agreement will give the trading card company the ability to produce, distribute, promote and sell college trading cards featuring current men’s and women’s college athletes who opt-in to OneTeam’s College Athlete Group Licensing program. Panini has plans for products across sports including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and Olympic sports.
“The trading card market is booming, and Panini is the leader in the category. With its existing current college licenses, there is an amazing opportunity to make co-branded college and current college athlete cards for the first time in history – across schools and men’s and women’s sports,” said Ahmad Nassar, CEO of OneTeam. “The group licensing model is key to including athletes in broad-based licensed products like this.”
The multi-year agreement includes the rights for both physical trading cards and digital trading cards including on Panini’s growing NFT/Blockchain platform for college athletes, as well as its real-time, direct-to-consumer Panini Instant platform. Panini has plans to launch on-demand co-branded college and player products this fall.
“We are excited to work with OneTeam in the college space. OneTeam will bring much-needed resources and group licensing expertise to college athletes as they navigate the new NIL landscape,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “OneTeam’s College Athlete Group Licensing program will give us the ability to reach a wide range of athletes across multiple schools and develop products that cut across all sports on both the men’s and women’s side.”
OneTeam launched as a joint venture between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), MLB Players Association (MLBPA) and RedBird Capital Partners to maximize the collective value of athletes’ rights across group licensing, marketing, media and investing. OneTeam is the only organization positioned to provide licensees with the body of college athlete group rights required for a successful, long-term licensed product program that includes athletes across multiple collegiate institutions and sports.