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Topps, a market leader in sports collectibles known for baseball cards, is looking to expand its presence in soccer, aiming to make soccer the biggest sport globally for trading cards. David Leiner, president of trading cards at Fanatics Collectibles, believes that Major League Baseball currently dominates the market, but sees soccer as a sport with huge growth potential in the trading card space. With acquisitions and licensing deals in place, Topps is primed to capitalize on the popularity of soccer around the world.

In addition to baseball, Topps has licensing deals with Formula 1, the NBA, NFL, and now, several soccer clubs and competitions, including the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer, and the UEFA Champions League. Soccer products have accounted for a significant portion of Topps’ revenue outside the U.S., and the company is looking to further expand its presence in the sport. The Covid-19 pandemic has also boosted interest in soccer collectibles in North America, a market that traditionally focused more on stickers. By offering trading cards and other collectibles, Topps aims to appeal to a global audience of soccer fans.

Securing exclusive deals for major soccer events like the European Championship and Euro 2024 has been a significant development for Topps. The company has made billions of individual cards and stickers for these tournaments, distributed to multiple countries around the world. Topps has also enlisted the help of high-profile figures in soccer, such as José Mourinho, Andy Robertson, and Jude Bellingham, to promote its collections. By focusing on engaging fans as well as collectors, Topps hopes to expand the market for soccer trading cards and create a broader appeal for the sport.

The strategy for Topps involves working with top players and coaches to promote soccer cards as a desirable and valuable collectible. By investing in partnerships with players like Tom Brady and LeBron James in the U.S., Topps is looking to elevate the status of trading cards within the sports fan community. The company sees adults as a significant market for international tournaments, as well as dedicated collectors who seek out iconic cards or those with potential for appreciating in value. Soccer legends like Messi and Ronaldo are highly sought after, but the next generation of superstars, like Erling Haaland, can also bring in substantial returns for collectors.

The trading card market in Asia and North America is booming, and Topps is working to build a trading card culture in Europe as well. The average buyer of trading cards is typically aged between 30 and 50, and there is a growing trend of people seeking out valuable and collectible cards. For serious collectors, finding and investing in the next big star can result in significant profits down the line. Topps is focused on building relationships with players and clubs to enhance the appeal of soccer trading cards and expand the market globally.

Overall, Topps sees soccer as a key player in the trading card space, with the potential to become the biggest sport globally for collectibles. By securing licensing deals for major soccer events, engaging with fans and collectors, and investing in partnerships with top players and coaches, Topps is poised to capitalize on the growing popularity of soccer around the world. The company’s focus on creating desirable and valuable collectibles, promoting the culture of trading cards, and appealing to a wide range of fans and collectors sets it up for success in the global sports collectibles market.

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