New sponsor, renewal for NASCAR Medallion starts sales arm, hires Downes The Lefton Report: Licensees like repeat Russo forms boutique agency Retreat introduces IMG to WME Jets, FanDuel deal starts at Super Bowl ScoreBig gets place with Ticketmaster Tough Mudder adds A-B, Chipotle 7Up to debut as Winter X Games sponsor H&R Block signs multiyear NBA deal
Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBJ/May 13-19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
MLS makes Topps its official card
Published May 13, 2013, Page 8
|Andrew Farrell's autographed card will be part of this year’s collection.
Maribeth Towers, MLS senior vice president of consumer products, said discussions with Topps started six months ago. The league’s trading card license with Upper Deck expired after the 2012 season.
Topps, which had never partnered with MLS before this deal, has trading card licenses with the English Premier League and the Bundesliga in Germany.
“We were impressed by Topps’ concepts for us and the success they’ve had in England and Germany,” Towers said.
Topps brand manager Jeff Heckman, who worked for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2001-03 in sales and youth soccer programs, said his company needed little convincing about the growth of MLS.
“I saw the beginning of the trajectory when I was with the Galaxy and now I see MLS getting very close to the top four major leagues in North America,” Heckman said. “When the MLS license became available, we didn’t hesitate to bid. We see a lot of opportunities to develop business.”
MLS and Topps completed the agreement without agency involvement. Topps also has partnerships with the NFL, MLB, UFC and WWE.