Panini America and USA Baseball, the national governing body of amateur baseball in the United States, has announced a long-term extension of the exclusive agreement that the two entities first entered into in 2012.
The extension continues Panini America’s status as the Official Baseball Card of USA Baseball and grants Panini America exclusive trading card category rights to all USA Baseball marks as well as the annual Collegiate, 18U and 15U National Teams.
The first product under the new extension, 2017 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball, recently arrived in hobby shops and incorporates members of the 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, as well as the 18U and 15U National Teams, and the 17U and 14U National Team Development Programs. 2017 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball also delivers unique autograph and game-worn memorabilia cards from the players.
As part of the new extension, Panini America logo patches will be added to various USA Baseball uniforms worn during international competition. Panini America will produce one standalone product devoted exclusively to USA Baseball every year but will also include USA Baseball content throughout its complete line of MLBPA-licensed baseball products.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our exclusive partnership with USA Baseball during the first five years and we’re excited about our future together,” said Jim Stefano, Panini America senior director of Product Development. “Being able to develop content that represents the Red, White and Blue and the players that proudly wear that uniform has been rewarding for us and has allowed us to enrich our baseball product portfolio.”
“Over the past five years Panini America has done an unprecedented job fostering the USA Baseball brand in the trading card category,” said David Perkins, USA Baseball chief operating officer. “We are thrilled to extend our partnership and we are excited to work with them on new programs leading our pastime’s future to new heights.”