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Panini and OneTeam To Include NCAA Athletes On Trading Cards

“The trading card market is booming, and Panini is the leader in the category,” said OneTeam CEO Ahmad Nassar. “With its existing current college licenses, there is an amazing opportunity to make co-branded college and current college athlete cards for the first time in history across schools and men’s and women’s sports. The group licensing model is key to including athletes in broad-based licensed products like this.”

The creation of the group licensing model is expected to generate huge revenues for college athletes and for the institutions as licensees rush to take advantage of the popularity of college sports in the US. Also this week the University of North Carolina announced it has engaged The BrandR Group (TBG) to launch the first Group Licensing Program for current NCAA student-athletes, and other schools are also rushing in to the sector.

Also over the past week, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young made headlines when his new coach, Nick Saban, said he had already earned in the high six figures in endorsements. In an article in The Athletic,  Saban said his star quarterback was signed up for close to $1 million in deals under the new name, image and likeness (NIL) policy before playing a single game with his new team.

NCAA’s New Rule Creating Student Millionaires

“Certain positions, probably, enhance opportunities to create value, like quarterback, and our quarterback (Young) already has approached ungodly numbers—I’m not going to say what they are—and he hasn’t even played yet. Hasn’t even started,” Saban said at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s annual convention on Tuesday. “It’s almost seven figures. And it’s like, the guy hasn’t even played yet. But that’s because of our brand.”

Panini says its own program will include both physical and digital trading cards, the latter being distributed through the company’s new NFT (Non-fungible Token) platform for college athletes, and its Direct-To-Customer (DTC) Panini Instant platform (

The company says the first new college athlete products will be released this fall, in partnership with OneTeam. 

“We are excited to work with OneTeam in the college space,” said Panini CEO Mark Warsop. “OneTeam will bring much needed resources and group licensing expertise to college athletes as they navigate the new NIL landscape. OneTeam’s College Athlete Group Licensing program will give us the ability to reach a wide range of athletes across multiple schools and develop products that cut across all sports on both the men’s and women’s side.”

NCAA Will Allow Athletes To Earn Money On Name, Image and Likeness

First Group Licensing Program For NCAA Athletes Launched At UNC


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