The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has reportedly terminated its contract with Panini due to a breach of contract. According to sports business reporter Darren Rovell, this unexpected termination took place two weeks ago when there were still over two years left in the agreement between the two entities.
Panini’s Breach and Potential Legal Actions
Panini, has allegedly continued selling its WWE product even after the termination of its contract. This action might be seen as a violation of the agreement’s terms. Given the circumstances, the WWE has declared that it will seek an injunction against Panini to prevent further sales and potentially recover damages.
The NFL cut Panini off in late August in a similar fashion.
Panini has already fired back with a lawsuit of their own filed in New York.
Just hours later the WWE hit back with their own lawsuit against Panini. According to sports card legal expert Paul Lesko the document was filed under seal so the details from the WWE lawsuit vs Panini remain a mystery for now.
Fanatics on Deck for Immediate Rights
Though the wrestling giant’s original plan was to shift to Fanatics in 2026 for their trading card production, this sudden turn of events might accelerate the timeline. Darren Rovell’s tweet suggests that Fanatics, the global merchandise and sports card company, is expected to obtain the rights to produce WWE’s trading cards immediately, given the recent developments.
Implications for the Trading Card Market
This swift transition could bring about significant changes in the trading card industry. Fanatics has been making notable strides in the trading card space, and acquiring WWE rights earlier than expected can give them a significant boost in consolidating their position in the market.
While the exact details of the breach between WWE and Panini remain undisclosed, the termination has set the stage for a new era of WWE trading cards under Fanatics. With the potential legal battle looming and an anticipated shift in the trading card market dynamics, fans, collectors, and industry stakeholders will be keenly observing the next moves of both WWE and Fanatics.
Could Panini be in financial trouble soon because of all the moves?
Fanatics is the exclusive supplier of WWE merchandise. You can see their product here.