Fanatics continues to make significant moves in the sports memorabilia and trading card industry. In its latest victory, the $31 billion sports memorabilia giant, led by Michael Rubin, is poised to begin its WWE trading card licensing deal earlier than expected, taking over the rights that were previously held by Panini. The WWE reportedly terminated its contract with Panini, which was originally set to expire in 2026, due to a breach of contract, although specific details remain undisclosed.
This development marks the second instance in recent months where Fanatics has accelerated a partnership by convincing a partner to start a deal ahead of schedule. In August, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) opted to initiate its 20-year trading card partnership with Fanatics, originally slated to commence in 2026.
Fanatics has been on an aggressive path to assert its dominance in the sports collectibles sector, starting with its acquisition of Topps in 2022. The company has secured trading card agreements with the NBA and MLB, as well as the players’ associations for these leagues. Moreover, it is set to take over the NFL’s league-wide trading card rights in 2026. Fanatics’ presence in the sports industry extends beyond trading cards, as it holds apparel deals with major leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS, among others.
Additionally, Fanatics is expanding into the sports betting realm, recently completing the acquisition of the U.S. operations of PointsBet for $225 million.