Monday, November 30, 2009

Topps Gets Exclusive Rights for Minor League Baseball

Another license awarded, another exclusive. This time Topps has got the exclusive right for Minor League Baseball. Because I'm pretty busy right now and don't have a lot of time (some may call it lazy), here's Topps' press release in all of its glory:

Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the Topps Company, the leading creator and marketer of sports cards, today announced an exclusive multi-year licensing deal to make Topps the Official Baseball Card of Minor League Baseball.
The agreement makes Topps the only trading card manufacturer licensed by MLBP to produce nationally-distributed trading cards of top draft picks and prospects within Minor League Baseball, and will give Topps the rights to names & logos of the 160 affiliated Minor League clubs and current Minor League players in uniform on baseball cards and stickers beginning on January 1, 2010.  In addition, Topps will now have the exclusive use of the Pro Debut logo.  Its first product will be its 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 to be unveiled in early March 2010.
“Topps is excited to become the official baseball card of Minor League Baseball as many of the young players today will be stars in the Major Leagues tomorrow,” said Warren Friss, Topps. “Now we’re the only trading card licensed by both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball and we look forward to a lasting relationship with both Leagues.”

“Topps continues to differentiate itself as the leader within the industry creating superior products for our fans,” said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball.  “Many fans begin to follow their favorite players as they become standout stars in the Minor Leagues, and a major avenue to build this connection is through collecting their Minor League cards.”
Minor League Baseball and Topps annually recognize the top prospects in baseball with the Topps Player of Month Awards and year-end classification all-star teams.   “We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with The Topps Company into licensed trading cards,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner. “This provides us with a unique opportunity to continue recognizing the best and brightest minor league talent while providing our fans and collectors high-quality trading card products.”

Earlier this year, Topps became the first exclusive baseball card company of Major League Baseball in nearly 30 years.  The company looks to expand its ongoing efforts to invigorate the category, continue launching ground-breaking products, improve the retail and collecting experience and make cards more relevant to children.

Some initial thoughts:
  • Another exclusive. Why am I not surprised?
  • Wait a sec, the combination of Major and Minor licenses could be interesting.
  • Pro-debut logo? Puh-lease. Just give me the dang rookie card so my easily confused mind is less confused.
  • Re-brand Bowman as a minor league set.


Anonymous said...

Go Bye TriStar and Razor. We hardly knew you.

dayf said...

"Re-brand Bowman as a minor league set."


sruchris said...

What about Minor League team sets? You know, the sets they sell in the team shop for around $5. Will those be a thing of the past?

Anonymous said...

Sruchis - The Minor League teams will always produce the team sets.

dayf - I highly doubt they will mess with changing bowman around. It works..why change anything. They will probably just throw in a top 10 rookies insert set.

I was thinking the same thing about Razor and TriStar but then I thought to myself, why don't they just take the team logos off the cards and still make the minor league cards.

I'm about 99% sure that's what they will do. Just Minors did it for years. Remember Post cereal cards back in 1990? Yes they were ugly cards but they didn't have logos so they could produce them.

This isn't going to stop companies from making minor league cards, Topps is just the official company that can use the logos, rookie card logo etc.

I personally don't like the idea of one company controlling everything. (MLB and MiLB cards)