Panini has made it official as far as going heavy into the college trading card market. According to Sports Business Daily, they've landed the exclusive CLC license. This is in addition to the more than 200 other schools it has signed deals with in recent months.
With the CLC license, Panini adds almost 150 more schools to its portfolio including Alabma, Texas A&M and North Carolina. The CLC also oversees several bowl games and the Heisman Trophy.
Under the deal, Panini can use college images of current NFL players as well as retired players in their regular releases in football, basketball and baseball. Panini also has plans for college-only sets.
Upper Deck has been the lone company producing CLC-licensed cards since 2010. They still hold an exclusive deal with Notre Dame. They made the following statement with regards to the CLC license and their role over the past several years:
The progression of collegiate trading cards would not have been possible without the enormous support of CLC, and all of the schools that they have represented over the last 5 years. Partnership between those schools, CLC and Upper Deck has undoubtedly played a significant role in the growth, vast improvement in quality and the overall marketability of this now vibrant category.
Upper Deck remains incredibly proud of its achievements with collegiate trading cards, and has nothing but high hopes for the future collegiate trading card market.
"We have sincerely enjoyed working with CLC and all of the schools they represent and we look forward to the opportunity to work together again on future projects" said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck.
Here's a look at how the college trading card landscape looks:
- CLC (almost 150 schools)
- Licensing Resources Group (over 200 schools)
- University of Georgia
- University of Kentucky
- University of Miami
- University of Oregon
- University of Texas