The Topps Company and ABRAMS Announce Strategic Publishing Alliance
February 22, 2011; New York, NY: Topps, a leading global marketer of collectibles and confections, has granted ABRAMS, the preeminent publisher of illustrated books, an exclusive license to publish books inspired by Topps’ long-standing presence in sports and popular culture. The multi-year arrangement is expected to yield an array of non-fiction and fiction sports and entertainment-themed books and calendars, which will be published across all of the ABRAMS imprints, including Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; and Stewart, Tabori & Chang. The deal was negotiated at Topps by Ira Friedman, VP of Global Licensing, and at ABRAMS by Charles Kochman, Editorial Director. The first line of books is slated to release in spring of 2012.
“The word ‘Topps’ conjures up memories of collecting sports heroes and chronicling pop culture phenomena. Plus, who can forget the unmistakable aroma of Topps’ classic Bazooka bubble gum?” said Michael Jacobs, ABRAMS President and CEO. “We look forward to working with the Topps team to capitalize on the appeal of their iconic brand in all kinds of book formats, and look to provide great reading experiences for adults and kids of all ages.”
In 2008, Topps and ABRAMS collaborated on a project for the first time. An exquisitely produced, cleverly packaged full-color hardcover book based upon Topps’ own Wacky Packages parody property generated much acclaim, both critically and commercially, and spawned a follow-up edition as well as the first-ever Wacky Packages calendar. This initial relationship prompted discussions of other possible projects in the vast Topps’ portfolio, which led to the alliance.
“We welcome the opportunity to greatly expand our partnership with ABRAMS,” said Ryan O’Hara, Topps President and CEO. “ABRAMS is a best-in-class publisher whose reputation for quality, innovation, and success is indisputable. They also have a profound appreciation of Topps’ rich history and our powerful impact on consumers today. They not only understand our past but are also aligned with our vision for the future,” said O’Hara.
In addition to a focus on creating top-notch traditional books, the scope of the new venture encompasses cutting-edge formats and technologies, including electronic books. A fiction series geared primarily toward 7-10-year-old boys is also on the agenda. The new fiction will serve as potential media content, consistent with Topps’ strategy to expand into film, TV, and other media platforms.
For Immediate Release
Jennifer Brunn , ABRAMS
Beth Mellow, DKC Public Relations
212.685.4300 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and entertainment cards, related collectibles, and popular confectionery brands. Topps products include Major League Baseball, NFL, WWE, UFC, Star Wars, Club Penguin, and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s confectionery portfolio includes “Bazooka” bubble gum, “Ring Pop,” “Push Pop,” “Baby Bottle Pop” and “Juicy Drop Pop” lollipops, as well as “Sharkies” organic fruit and sport chews. Topps was acquired in October 2007 by Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity group, and Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney. Headquartered in New York City, Topps also maintains offices in California, Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, and India.
Founded by Harry N. Abrams in 1949, ABRAMS was the first company in the United States to specialize in the creation and distribution of art and illustrated books. Now a subsidiary of La Martinière Groupe, the company publishes visually stunning illustrated books in the areas of art, photography, cooking, interior and garden design, craft, architecture, entertainment, fashion, sports, pop culture, as well as children’s books and general interest titles. The company’s imprints include Abrams, Abrams ComicArts, Abrams Image, Abrams Books for Young Readers, and Amulet Books. Abrams also distributes books for The Vendome Press, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate, Royal Academy of Arts, Booth-Clibborn Editions, Five Continents and others.