Athletes Unlimited releases brand new trading card set
The GIST: Time to deal a new deck of cards. On Friday, Athletes Unlimited (AU) and Topps released a trading card set featuring all four AU sports — basketball, lacrosse, softball, and volleyball — in a move that signals the continuing demand for women’s sports products.
The details: The 200 card set features 185 athletes and is being sold through Topps and its parent Fanatics, as well as hobby shops and major retailers like Target and Barnes & Noble (B&N). Several themed sets will also be available, including autographed offerings from 85 athletes and cards with embedded pieces of memorabilia.
- The collab makes plenty of business sense. Trading cards are a player-focused venture and so is AU — the org leans heavily on players’ visibility and says it has over 13M combined social media followers on its own profiles and its athletes’ accounts.
The context: Fanatics upped marketing efforts around its collectibles and for good reason — the global sports trading card market is expected to approach $100B by 2027. Brands like Fanatics and NWSL partner Parkside Collectibles are also carving out their women’s sports market share as female athletes’ trading cards sell for record prices. Boom, indeed.
Zooming out: Last week’s news continues to prove the immense demand for women’s sports merch while also signaling a vote of confidence in AU. The niche org on the rise will earn crucial visibility through placement on Topps’ digital shop and Target and B&N’s IRL stores, which could boost its profile among new fans. Opportunity in spades.