NFL Players Inc. (NFLPI), the licensing and marketing arm of the NFL Players Association, and Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced at Day 2 of The National that the two entities have entered into an exclusive long-term agreement that will make Panini America the sole manufacturer of NFLPA-licensed trading cards and collectible stickers beginning with the 2016 NFL season.
“We feel very confident in Panini America’s ability to deliver quality and value to consumers at all levels, while providing long-term stability to the football trading card category,” said NFLPI President Keith Gordon. “Significant investments in product innovation, quality, authenticity and creative player marketing have endeared Panini to the existing fan base, while actively cultivating the next generation of collectors.”
The announcement was made Thursday during a special luncheon at The Westin in downtown Cleveland featuring ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz and officials from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pop Warner, NFLPI, Panini America and trading card distributors.
“This is a monumental announcement for Panini America, and we are honored to have earned this exclusive long-term agreement with NFL Players Inc.,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “It’s a tremendous honor to be moving forward on an exclusive basis and it will give us greater ability to work together more strategically at growing the football trading card and sticker category.”
Panini has exclusive deals with NFLPI, NBA and FIFA World Cup. The exclusive long-term investment with NFLPI positions Panini to further its global expansion of the football trading card and sticker business.