Italian sticker company Panini have made their first foray into women’s club soccer after announcing their Spanish division, Panini Cromos will release a collection for the Spanish top flight, the Primera División de la Liga de Fútbol Femenino, known as Liga F.
After the success of similar women’s soccer collections for international tournaments, Spain has stolen a march on some of its European rivals by launching the first Panini sticker album for a national women’s league which will no doubt lead to demand for similar collections in other countries.
The agreement between Panini and Liga F begins this season and will initially run until the 2026/2027 campaign and has been described within Spain as “a historic milestone to add to the unstoppable evolution of Spanish women’s football since it was classified as a professional sport 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 rebranded itself as Liga F, a private sports association in June. Now, all 16 teams are classified as professional and in September the league signed a five-year partnership with DAZN Group to exclusively broadcast every one of its matches in Spain and around the world.
The first Liga F collection will have stickers of the club crests, team pictures, coaches and the regular 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 for Spanish women’s sport.
Founded in Modena, Italy in 1961, Panini initially sold stickers of Italian men’s players in packets of two. Their big break internationally came in 1970 when they signed a licensing agreement with the world governing body, FIFA, to produce a collection for that year’s men’s World Cup tournament in Mexico.
Panini have since become a byword for sticker collections throughout the world, owning the licence rights for many domestic men’s leagues such as the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and the Italian Serie A as well as the lucrative FIFA World Cup collection.
In 2011, they launched 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 launched their first stickers for the UEFA Women’s Euro finals and again for this summer’s tournament in England.
However, prior to that in April, UEFA announced it had signed a six-year deal with rival firm Topps to become the official sticker and trading card partner for its national team tournaments until 2028, which means that they, rather than Panini, will produce the sticker collection for UEFA Women’s Euro 2025.
In Belgium, the national soccer sticker collection has featured women’s teams alongside men’s teams in one ‘Pro-League’ album and in 2019, Tine De Caigny became the first woman to appear on the cover but despite the apparent interest in the stickers, up until now there had not been a Panini collection based around a women’s football league.
Earlier that year, Lluís Torrent, general director of Panini in Spain dismissed the possibility of introducing a sticker collection for the women’s league saying “unfortunately that is far away. We published the one for the Women’s World Cup and it did not work. All those who defend women’s football forgot to go buy the stickers. Don’t worry, when we see it is feasible, we’ll do it.”
Three years on, that day has come with Torrent admitting that the agreement with Liga F came at the end of several months of negotiations. He said, “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.”
President of Liga F, Beatriz Álvarez added that “this collection will be a new milestone and another strategic step in the expansion and visibility of the Liga F. Doing it through a brand with the prestige and track record of Panini is a source of pride for us and it will allow women’s football to have the first album in its history.”