Global soccer's governing body FIFA has announced the continuation of its long-running partnership with collectibles firm Panini, which sees Panini exclusively continue as FIFA’s official stickers, trading cards, trading card games, and digital collectibles partners.
The partnership, which has spanned over 50 years, will continue until at least 2030, with Panini signed on to produce collectible merchandise for FIFA competitions including the men’s FIFA World Cups in 2026 and 2030, as well as the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Over the course of the extension, Panini will also revolutionize its FIFA-licensed offerings by integrating modern digital technologies in order to modernize the brand, as well as attract new customers.
Elisabetta Mussini, Panini group licensing director, stated: “For us, this agreement represents recognition of our strong commitment to collectors and football fans in general and we will ensure that we offer them products and experiences never seen before.”
“Many things have changed in the last five decades, but the passion of football fans and the desire to share it with supporters from all around the world is still there. Thanks to the joint effort of FIFA and Panini their engagement will reach a totally new level.”
The partnership between the two bodies began at the 1970 men's World Cup in Mexico.
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The continuation of this longstanding agreement is a major boon for the embattled Panini as the company remains in the midst of a longstanding feud with rival merchandise producer Fanatics.
In August, Panini filed an antitrust lawsuit against its rival, alleging it is attempting to monopolize the trading card market after entering the sector two years ago.
Panini alleges Fanatics has engaged in “calculated, intentional, anticompetitive conduct” by securing long-term, exclusive licensing deals with leagues and players.
However, Fanatics quickly filed a countersuit alleging that businesses that have left Panini in favor of the e-commerce giant have done so due to its incompetency.
Some major businesses in the sports industry that have jumped ship from Panini to Fanatics include the National Football League Players Association, World Wrestling Entertainment, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball.
FIFA, meanwhile, renewed a commercial deal with Qatar Airways last month, until 2030.