Fanatics adds 'crown jewel' with exclusive deal for Premier League cards

EPL trading cards, stickers will move from Panini to Fanatics in June 2025

Cover Image for Fanatics adds 'crown jewel' with exclusive deal for Premier League cards
Starting in June 2025, Fanatics will produce all trading cards for Kai Havertz, left, Bukayo Saka, Arsenal and the rest of the EPL. (Credit: Getty Images)

After years with card manufacturer Panini America, the Premier League has agreed to an exclusive multi-year deal with Fanatics Collectibles to produce trading cards.

Announced Wednesday, the new deal will include all 20 Premier League clubs starting in June 2025. The agreement will also allow Topps and Fanatics to produce trading-card games and stickers.

The deal with Fanatics Collectibles ends what will have been a six-year run between Panini America and the Premier League. Panini America first acquired rights to the EPL in 2019 with an extension in 2021 bringing the deal into 2025.

Prior to Panini America’s deal, Topps was an official partner of the Premier League from 1994 to 2019.

“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.”

For Topps and Fanatics Collectibles, the deal with the Premier League is a major addition to a lineup of soccer products that currently includes the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and UEFA.

“We are delighted to welcome Fanatics as the official sticker and trading card licensee of the Premier League from season 2025/26,” Premier League chief commercial officer Will Brass said in a statement. “They bring an outstanding track record and strong commitment to innovation, helping fans all over the world express their passion for the sports they love. Through this partnership, we will be able to create a truly memorable collectible experience for all.”

According to Leiner, Fanatics Collectibles made adding the Premier League to its lineup a priority when the rights became available and a deal came together quickly.

“As we’ve been looking at our overall football portfolio, one of the jewels out there that’s been missing is the Premier League, and when rights came up for tender, we took a very hard, very serious look at this,” Leiner said.

“We looked at the current market, we felt there were some gaps and holes, and we felt Fanatics Collectibles could really come in and help build the Premier League brand — drive innovation, drive marketing, drive athlete partnerships, and kind of deploy some of the playbook that we've been successfully deploying.”

The playbook so far for Fanatics Collectibles has been flexing its wallet with a massive increase in marketing and advertising spend for key players and products.

Better relationships with the leagues and the players associations have helped in a major way, too, especially when it comes to acquiring the memorabilia needed to make Topps’ popular debut patches.

Leiner stopped short of announcing debut patches for the Premier League — Topps has deployed them for both MLB and MLS so far — but he says those types of products likely helped Fanatics Collectibles secure the rights.

“The amount of innovation we’ve been driving in the last couple of years is just kind of unparalleled,” Leiner said.

Under Panini America, Premier League products have stretched across mid-tier brands such as Mosaic and Select to the high-end Impeccable and Panini’s flagship Prizm product.

The Topps Premier League product lineup hasn’t been determined yet, though Leiner says collectors can expect key sets to be represented at a variety of price points.

It’s fair to expect the ultra-popular Topps Chrome set — a key release the last time Topps had the Premier League rights — to return as a major product. An increased emphasis on trading-card games and stickers could be coming, too.

Stickers have yet to take off in North America, though they have a long history in South America and Europe. Topps views the Premier League as a way to build the sports card hobby abroad, and sticker sets and trading-card games could be key components.

“I think you’re gonna 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.”

Securing a crown jewel will help Fanatics’ main objective, of course.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin has famously commented about his plans to grow the sports card hobby, and building a robust offering of soccer products is part of the playbook.

“You've heard Fanatics publicly state we're trying to 10x the number of collectors in the hobby,” Leiner said. “That doesn't happen if you're only focused domestically. We need to look globally, and there's no better place to look than the world of football.”

Ben Burrows is a reporter and editor for cllct.