As the trading card industry continues to boom, The Topps Co. tapped the CEO of the Portsmouth Football Club to lead its international business outside of North America and Japan.
Beginning June 1, Mark Catlin will serve as general manager, international sports and entertainment. He will oversee a portfolio of top licenses, including Star Wars, WWE, Formula 1, UEFA Champions League, and more. Topps Chairman Michael D. Eisner has owned the Portsmouth Football Club for the past four years.
“Mark is one of the best businessmen I have known throughout my career, which prompted me to introduce him to Topps,” Eisner says. “I am thrilled Topps saw what I’ve seen in Mark and wanted his enormous skills for the company. His knowledge of sports, and global football specifically, and his general business experience make him a natural for this role.”
“It has been an absolute privilege, through my position as CEO of Portsmouth Football Club, to have worked so closely with Michael Eisner and the Tornante family during recent years,” Catlin says. “I also have been able to develop a fantastic business relationship with Mike Brandstaedter, David Leiner, and many other Topps executives, and I have witnessed first-hand the amazing skills of the group. Topps is already a truly iconic brand, and I am excited to help the business continue to lead the way in this sector through innovation, excellence, and the development of products and licenses.”
Catlin’s appointment comes at a time of change for The Topps Co. as the organization moves toward becoming a publicly-traded company and a major player in the realm of NFTs. Over the past year many independent toy stores have started carrying Topps’ card products while the company’s licensing business has also grown. Topps brands, including Bazooka gum, Garbage Pail Kids, and Mars Attacks are finding increased space in toy aisles through partnerships with companies such as Super Impulse, Pinfinity, and others.
As part of his transition to Topps, Catlin will step down as CEO at Portsmouth Football Club. Andrew Cullen, formerly of the Milton Keynes Dons has been named CEO effective June 1.