The Topps Company announced the appointment of Mark Catlin as general manager, International Sports and Entertainment. Catlin, currently the CEO of Portsmouth Football Club, will assume his new role effective June 1 and will report to the global manager of Sports and Entertainment, David Leiner.
Catlin will be responsible for the Topps company’s business outside North America and Japan, which licenses in the European and global sports and entertainment industry, including UEFA Champions League, the German Bundesliga, F1, Star Wars, WWE, and the SPFL.
“Mark’s track record of leadership in business and sport makes him a great fit for the next stage in Topps’ international business, and I am thrilled to welcome him to the team,” said Leiner.
Catlin has served as CEO of Portsmouth FC for the past eight years and under Topps Chairman Michael D. Eisner’s ownership of the club for the past four years.
“I’ve known Mark for several years and have had the pleasure of collaborating with him on various initiatives. He has a tremendous passion for innovation and commitment to excellence, and his deep network across the global business landscape will help us strengthen and expand the Topps portfolio outside the U.S.,” said Topps CEO Michael Brandstaedter.
Catlin arrived at Portsmouth Football Club in 2012 to work voluntarily with the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and Presidents. He was appointed CEO as liquidation was avoided and subsequently erased existing debts of more than £8 million and annual losses of more than £1 million. Following recovery from administration, he led the club to EBITDA profits and achieved promotion as Champions from League Two in 2017 and fell just short of the playoffs for promotion from League One this season.
“Mark is one of the best businessmen I have known throughout my career, which prompted me to introduce him to Topps,” said Eisner. “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 makes him a natural for this role.”
“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,” said Catlin. “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.”
Reporting to Catlin will be Chris Tait, Group Finance and Operations Director; Patrick Rausch, Chief Marketing Officer EMEA; Pravin Kalnawat, Head of Business and Operations, India; and Esteban Romiti, General Manager, LATAM. Catlin will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of Portsmouth Football Club.