August 7, 2009

Topps signs exclusive with MLB

U.S. baseball card company Topps has signed a multiyear deal with Major League Baseball, giving it the exclusive rights to team logos and names, MLB said.

The deal snubs card company rival Upper Deck, which said it would still produce cards, but would have to look for creative ways of doing so.

"We're still trying to figure out what all this means, But the situation allows us to re-evaluate

things and come up with new and innovative concepts," Upper Deck director of sports brands Jason Masherah told the San Diego Union-Tribune Friday.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said the deal would restore baseball cards as the game's premier collectible.

The baseball card industry had grown from a kids-with-shoe boxes industry into a $1 billion business that included famously priced items, like the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, which once sold for $2.8 million.

But revenues have fallen to about $200 million a year in part due to market saturation, the newspaper said.