Panini, the company known for its tradition of creating soccer trading cards and stickers, is relinquishing that role for the Premier League to Fanatics brand Topps. The American company will become the Premier League’s exclusive partner beginning in June 2025. Thus, it’ll end the six-year partnership between Panini and the Premier League.

As part of this deal, Fanatics, in collaboration with Topps will create Premier League trading cards. Additionally, Fanatics will sell stickers and related books that fans can collect. Prior to the deal with Panini, Topps sold stickers and related collectives from 1994 to 2019. As a result of adding the Premier League, Fanatics and Topps now have products involving the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and the UEFA Champions League.

“This is a big deal for us,” David Leiner, Fanatics Collectibles’ president of trading cards, told cllct. “On a global basis, you have arguably the top domestic league in football in the Premier League — some of the top-tier clubs, top-tier players in the world. So, this is absolutely massive.”

Leiner went on to add that the Premier League was one of the jewels that Fanatics was missing in its crown. He hesitated to outwardly commit to what the products would look like in the lineup. However, previous iterations of Topps can point to what is in store for the Premier League.

Fanatics to bring back popular Premier League trading card packages

The Topps Chrome set is the company’s most popular form of product that exists in other leagues and sports. Card collectors often preserve the Topps Chrome packs because of their quality and durability. They make it easy for traders to make a profit on valuable cards, particularly when they go up in value over time. Topps released this edition of cards last time it had the rights to the Premier League before Panini took over.

While North America has a strong culture of trading cards, Europe and South America generally have more of a preference for stickers. The deal with the Premier League is a way for Topps and Fanatics to continue the growth of the trading card market in Europe.

“I think you’re going to see a massive amount of continued growth in Europe and the same thing in Latin America, which is still very sticker focused,” Leiner said. “I think we’re seeing a burgeoning business there on the trading-card game and trading-card side. And again, I think soccer still has yet to have its day here in North America. Messi coming to MLS is helping to raise the bar. The World Cup coming here is going to raise that bar, but properties like the Premier League are, I think, always going to be the crown jewel of global football.”

Fanatics also may start using shirt patches to add another facet to its base of collectibles. In Major League Soccer, players making their debut wear a Debut Patch on their kit. After the game, the kit team removes the patch and uses an adhesive to apply it to a trading card. It will be a one-of-one collectible.