MLB AND TOPPS ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE DEAL MAKING
TOPPS THE OFFICIAL BASEBALL CARD OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Exclusive Multi-Year Deal Signifies Renewed Commitment to
Youth and Innovation, 40 Years After Their First Deal
Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Topps Company, the leading creator and marketer of sports cards, today announced an exclusive multi-year licensing deal to make Topps the Official Baseball Card of Major League Baseball. Topps will have exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event and Club trademarks, logos and other intellectual property, for use on baseball cards, stickers and certain other product categories featuring MLB players. Topps’ exclusivity begins on January 1, 2010.
Topps will become the first exclusive baseball card company of MLB in nearly 30 years, as the company looks to expand its ongoing efforts to invigorate the category, continue launching ground-breaking products, improve the retail and collecting experience and make cards more relevant to children. Topps’ first exclusive product will be its 2010 Topps Baseball Series 1 to be unveiled next February.
’Generations of baseball fans have grown more connected to the game through collecting baseball cards,’ said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. ’We look forward to partnering with Topps to restore baseball cards as the game’s premiere collectable.’
’Topps has over the years clearly distinguished itself as the leader in the industry and the best brand in the business,’ said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball Properties. ’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, a private investment company he founded in 2005, acquired The Topps Company, Inc. in 2007 along with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. ’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,’ said Eisner. ’Topps has been making baseball cards for over 50 years and signed our first agreement with Major League Baseball Properties in 1969,’ said Topps CEO and President Scott Silverstein. ’Now, 40 years later, we are delighted to be taking this relationship to new heights.’
As part of the iconic company’s plans to expand into the digital space, and to strengthen its connection with kids, Topps unveiled a multitude of new and innovative products over the past two years including ToppsTown.com, an online sports community developed just for kids and Topps 3D Live trading cards, the first augmented reality consumer product that brings your favorite MLB players to digital life, offering an unprecedented level of interactivity for kids, fans and collectors.
About Major League Baseball Properties The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Club’s agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.
About The Topps Company, Inc. Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and related cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps entertainment products include Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s confectionery brands include ’Bazooka’ bubble gum, ’Ring Pop,’ ’Push Pop,’ ’Baby Bottle Pop’ and ’Juicy Drop Pop’ lollipops. For additional information, visit www.topps.com.
# # # Contact: Matt Bourne or Jeff Heckelman, Major League Baseball, (212) 931-7878 Matthew Altman, DKC (for Topps), (212) 685-4300