I was shocked to say the least that Panini was able to seal the deal with the NBA and become the only licensed distributor of NBA Basketball cards beginning with the 2009/2010 season. Then I wondered does it really matter to me? I don’t really collect basketball cards much except for former Texas Longhorns so do I care at all about this? It will be tough for those collectors that have put together strings of sets from Topps or Upper Deck to all of a sudden have that endeavor come to an abrupt end.
Its way too early to predict what this might mean for the hobby in general. Who knows Panini might breathe new life into the hobby and bring even more collectors into the hobby. I’ll keep an open mind right now on what may be coming across the pond from Panini for now.
The part that bothers me most is the uncertainty of what this could all mean to the Baseball and Football card segment of the hobby. We have already seen baseball licenses be cut down to two manufacturers. Personally, I would like to see a third license granted to Donruss. Although that won’t happen with the lawsuit between MLB and Donruss. If this goes well for the NBA and Panini we could see one company attempt to corner the market in Baseball or Football.
Overall, I think having only one licensee per sport is a tragedy. Since its happened now I am glad it was for Basketball and not Baseball or Football. Don’t take that as a condemnation on Panini because its not. I don’t have a problem with Panini producing NBA cards I just have a problem with them having the Monopoly.
To the Executives with the MLB, MLBPA, NFL, NFLPA, Topps, Donruss and Upper Deck lets make sure that we don’t end up with only one manufacturer of baseball or football cards. Oh, that goes for the NHL too please.