NBA fans and collectors rejoice as basketball legend LeBron James enters a new era in the world of trading cards. The superstar athlete has recently signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Fanatics Collectibles, a division under the popular sports merchandise company Fanatics. This groundbreaking deal marks the end of his longstanding relationship with Upper Deck, the trading card manufacturer he had been associated with for over two decades.
In a statement released by Fanatics, LeBron expressed his excitement about this new partnership. He emphasized his desire to share more memorable moments with his fans and celebrate the accomplishments of athletes at the pinnacle of their careers. The basketball icon also stressed the importance of recognizing both the major milestones and the subtle achievements in the world of sports.
To kick off this collaboration in style, Fanatics has planned the release of a special trading card featuring LeBron and his son, Bronny James. This exclusive card will be part of the highly anticipated 2023-24 Bowman University Chrome Basketball set, available from January 19. The card will be a one-of-a-kind, on-card dual autograph, showcasing LeBron in his St. Vincent-St. Mary’s high school uniform and Bronny in his USC Trojans jersey. Alongside the father-son duo, the set will also feature women’s college basketball All-Americans Caitlin Clark and Paige Bueckers, among other notable players.
Fanatics Collectibles CEO Mike Mahan expressed his excitement about welcoming LeBron James to the Fanatics family. Mahan sees this partnership as an opportunity to expand the boundaries of the trading card hobby and foster even greater enthusiasm among fans and collectors. To further promote this momentous occasion, Fanatics has produced a captivating video titled “Origin of Greatness,” narrated by LeBron himself. The video highlights the early moments of various Fanatics athlete partners, creating an immersive experience for viewers.
While this new deal signifies a fresh chapter for LeBron and Fanatics, it also marks the end of an era with Upper Deck. The iconic trading card manufacturer acknowledged their long and fruitful collaboration with the basketball superstar. Upper Deck recognized their efforts in building LeBron’s brand into a highly valuable collectible and their work with the LeBron James Family Foundation. The company expressed gratitude for having LeBron as a part of their Upper Deck family, while also wishing him success in his future endeavors.
As LeBron James embarks on this new journey with Fanatics, it’s clear that the world of trading cards is in for an exciting ride. With Fanatics’ innovative approach to sports collectibles and LeBron’s immense popularity, this partnership is expected to reshape the landscape of the hobby. Fans and collectors can look forward to more groundbreaking releases and unique opportunities to connect with their favorite athletes as this new era unfolds.