Topps' exclusive deal with Major League Baseball isn't going anywhere any time soon. The card maker has announced a new multi-year deal that extends through 2020.
Topps has held the exclusive MLB license since the start of 2010. The deal enables them to incorporate team logos, uniforms and other trademarks on trading cards. This differentiates them from other companies like Panini and Upper Deck that have licenses with the MLBPA. This gives them the right to use player images, but without MLB trademarks.
"Having a deal in place, it allows us to invest in the business. It's tough when you don't know if the deal is going to end in a year or a few years," said Mark Sapir of Topps on Cardboard Connection Radio, live from the 2013 Las Vegas Industry Summit. "Having a long-term deal and a long-term partnership allows you to invest in the business and plan the business."
Sapir mentioned that some of that planning would be for marketing, which he says they can do more of knowing that they won't be losing the license. He also said the extension would allow the company to sign more long-term autograph deals.
While he didn't say a set number, Sapir did say that Topps was limited in the number of MLB card products they could make each year.
One of the targets with the extension continues to be getting more kids involved in the hobby. "We've struggled with getting kids back into collecting the way we'd like to. I think all of us would like to see more kids in collecting," said Sapir. He said Topps would continue to do marketing towards getting kids into collecting an leveraging digital content and products beyond traditional cards like the upcoming 2013 Topps Big League Minis vinyl figures and 2013 MLB Chipz.
As a collector, are you happy to see this deal extended? What, if any, changes would you like to see?