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Crazy About Football: The League Triggers Sales of Cards in Spain

Oct 1, 2018
Fernando Perez, Industry Analyst, NPD Spain ;

When Cristiano Ronaldo announced this summer that he was leaving Real Madrid, it’s safe to assume that more than one child thought of his next season's sticker album. It’s a fact that the return to school also marks the return of one of the most repeated traditions year after year (along with putting the books in the backpack): collecting Football League cards (known as soccer in the U.S.).

In the last three years, the passion for ‘the beautiful game’ has triggered the increasing popularity of card collecting in our country. Through the end of August 2018, the sale of football cards has grown almost 30 percent compared to 2015. Some of this can be attributed to this year’s World Cup; but even before the World Cup, football card sales experienced double-digit increases.

If we look at the Top 10 of all the cards that have sold the most in the Spanish market between January and August 2018, we see that 8 of the 10 products correspond to football cards. And 7 of those 8 items belong to the collectibles of the Spanish League. We only find one product corresponding to the World Cup of Russia and two that have nothing to do with this sport: the collections of Gorjuss and Invizimals. This Top 10 shows that the domination of the League's cards is overwhelming.

The World Cup has less pull than the League

The attraction for collectible football cards has also been reflected this summer in the World Cup cards, whose sales have skyrocketed by 90 percent compared to the figures that were recorded four years ago, on the occasion of the World Cup in Brazil. Sales were concentrated mainly in April (when the collection went on sale) and June (the week in which the competition began). But when Spain was eliminated (July 1), interest in the competition fell sharply and that was reflected in sales.

Nevertheless, so far this year, the World Cup cards represent less than 30 percent of the total sales of football cards.

New League, new cards

In August, once the World Cup has ended, new cards of the next competition begin showing up. The new item of Panini, La Liga Santander 2018-2019 Blister of 10 Envelopes, broke into the market with force and directly reached the second position of best-selling toys in Spain during the month of August, coinciding with the start of the Football League. Its price stands at 6.90 euros.

This product continues to perform well in September, as it is in these days when collectors want to begin to complete their albums. In addition, the fact that many households bought stickers of the World Cup during the summer has caused slightly delayed sales of the  cards of the league 2018-2019, so we can expect to see continued, significant growth in the coming weeks.

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