Source: Portsmouth Football Club/Topps Co./The Toy Book

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.”

Related: The Topps Co. Bets Big on NFTs, Set to Merge and Go Public

“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.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.