Italian sticker company Panini has made its first foray into women’s club soccer after announcing its Spanish division, Panini Cromos will launch a collection for Spain’s top flight, the Women’s Soccer League First Division, known as Liga F.
Following the success of similar women’s football collections for international tournaments, Spain has leapfrogged some of its European rivals with the release of the first Panini sticker album for a national women’s league, which will no doubt generate demand for similar collections elsewhere. countries.
The agreement between Panini and the F League begins this season and will initially run until the 2026/2027 campaign and has been described within Spain as “a historic milestone that adds to the unstoppable evolution of Spanish women’s football since it was classified as a sport professional and one more step in the growth and diffusion of the First Division in our country”.
It is the latest commercial agreement for the Spanish women’s top flight, which in June was renamed Liga F, a private sports association. Now all 16 teams are classified as professionals and in September the league signed a five-year partnership with DAZN Group to exclusively broadcast each of its matches in Spain and around the world.
The first collection of the F League will have stickers of the clubs’ shields, images of the teams, coaches and starting players of each team and will seek to contribute to the visibility and recognition of all the work done to achieve professionalization as a milestone of the Spanish women’s sport.
Founded in Modena, Italy, in 1961, Panini initially sold trading cards of Italian players in two-packs. Their big break internationally came in 1970 when they signed a licensing agreement with world governing body FIFA to produce a collection for that year’s men’s World Cup in Mexico.
Since then, Panini has become synonymous with sticker collections around the world, holding the licensing rights to many national men’s leagues including the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A, as well as the lucrative FIFA World Cup Collection.
In 2011, they released their first women’s soccer collection ahead of that year’s Women’s World Cup in Germany, the success of which led to further editions in 2015 and 2019. In 2017, they also released their first stickers for the finals of the Women’s Euro Cup. UEFA and again for this summer’s tournament in England.
However, before that in April, UEFA announced that it had signed a six-year deal with rival firm Topps to become the official trading card and trading partner of its national team’s tournaments until 2028, meaning they Instead of Panini, they will produce the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 sticker collection.
In Belgium, the national soccer sticker collection has featured women’s teams alongside men’s teams on a ‘Pro-League’ album and in 2019, Tine De Caigny became the first woman to appear on the cover, but despite the apparent interest in stickers, until now there was no Panini collection based on a women’s soccer league.
At the beginning of that year, Lluís Torrent, general director of Panini in Spain, ruled out the possibility of introducing a collection of stickers for the women’s league, saying “unfortunately that is a long way off. We published the one for the women’s World Cup and it didn’t work. All those who defend women’s football forgot to go buy the stickers. Don’t worry, when we see that it’s feasible we’ll do it”.
Three years later, that day has come when Torrent acknowledges that the agreement with the F League came after several months of negotiations. He said that “it represents an exciting challenge that we are going to face with the utmost rigor, the maximum guarantees and the maximum intensity, as is usual in all the collections that we develop in the Panini Group.”
The president of the F League, Beatriz Álvarez, added that “this collection will be a new milestone and another strategic step in the expansion and visibility of the F League. Doing it through a brand with the prestige and trajectory of Panini is a source of pride for us and will allow women’s football to have the first record in its history”.