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Panini America On Location: The Sights and Sounds from Day 3 at the 2011 National

August 5, 2011

Chicago-based freelance writer Dan Campana contributed to this report and will file updates and images to The Knight’s Lance throughout the week. 

ROSEMONT, Ill. — It shouldn’t be this simple. But for one lucky Panini America collector late Friday morning, it was.

Chicago-area hobbyist Dan Piehl walked up to Panini America’s Tracy Hackler innocently enough. He just wanted to say hello, shake a hand and talk about the hobby.

Minutes later, Piehl joined Hackler and Scott Prusha for a special episode of Panini Unwrapped at the Panini America booth on the floor of the 32nd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention.

Oh, and they were breaking none other than 2010-11 National Treasures Basketball — and Piehl walked away with the goods, including autographs and jersey cards from Dolph Schayes, Connie Hawkins, George Gervin and Kobe Bryant.

“People really do win,” Hackler said as the trio cracked into a pair of boxes.

In the bigger scheme of things, the Panini America crew truly has enjoyed its visit to the 2011 National, which has been busy since the doors opened on Wednesday but especially so on Friday — when the line to participate in the company’s popular wrapper-redemption program stretched beyond the cavernous boundaries of the corporate booth.

“The whole show, for us, is so important, so vital, because we get to interact with the people who support us all year long,” Hackler said.

The feeling is mutual. Not only were collectors ripping mass quantities of basketball, football and hockey all around Panini’s booth, they were also complimenting Panini America’s innovation and ability to cater to all types of collectors.

On one side of the table, collectors talked up how they appreciated the company’s stepped-up approach to retail products by including autographs in boxes. On the other side, a father-son duo complimented Panini America for continuing to improve the high-end National Treasures Football product.

But don’t take our word for it. Stop by the company’s energy-filled booth this weekend for wrapper redemptions and box wars to see for yourself. You never know what you might walk away with.

Right now, though, you can walk away with the following video and gallery showcasing just some of Friday’s highlights.

79 Comments leave one →
  1. Kwb permalink
    August 7, 2011 8:26 am

    Gold standard looks nice. U can never go wrong with gold!

  2. Kwb permalink
    August 7, 2011 8:45 am

    Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant. Oklahoma conection. There is a lot of talent in OK. National treasures basketball. Give it an A

  3. August 7, 2011 12:00 pm

    Glad to see the booth so full.

  4. August 7, 2011 12:26 pm

    Wow! That’s a pretty long line at your booth.

  5. August 7, 2011 7:42 pm

    Really like the sketch card with Blaine G. Thanks for letting us who can’t make the National feel like we are in your booth! Keep up the great work Panini!

  6. Ryan Chan permalink
    August 8, 2011 5:30 am

    Gold Standard looks sweet, wish there was a Jeremy Lin card in it though. But I’ll make sure to chase down his singles in NT!

  7. James M permalink
    August 8, 2011 6:06 am

    Wrappers, wrappers, everywhere! Who wouldn’t want to be able to bust those many packs! Hey Tracy, hope they didn’t make you clean up all the wrappers that didn’t make it into or fell out of the garbage cans every night. 😛

    Would love to get into a box war with somebody one day. haha.

  8. August 8, 2011 9:06 am

    The carnage of the wrappers is great! I laughed right outloud when I saw the “lucsious locks” caption on the Gabbert card!

  9. August 8, 2011 9:50 am

    Great showing by Panini!

  10. Louis2142 permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:48 am

    Looks like a great show! Wish I could have attended the convention! Im there next year, think its in Maryland.

  11. Gridiron-Gladiators permalink
    August 8, 2011 2:44 pm

    Thats how all Booths should look! Good job guys!

  12. Hunter permalink
    August 8, 2011 3:32 pm

    Panini’s booth was definitely the highlight of the show for me!

  13. August 8, 2011 4:09 pm

    Cool player sketch cards!

  14. Max permalink
    August 8, 2011 4:59 pm

    that blaine gabber is so nice

  15. Jon Nelson permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:41 pm

    That Looks Legend…..Wait For It…..Dary

  16. Todd W. permalink
    August 8, 2011 10:59 pm

    Dangit I was so jealous watching all this stuff! I did receive my Demeco Ryans redemption today though!

  17. Tim permalink
    August 9, 2011 7:50 am

    I hope to see you guys next year in Baltimore.

  18. Richard permalink
    August 9, 2011 8:43 am

    Sigh.. Wish I was there..

  19. Matt Gilman permalink
    August 9, 2011 9:19 am

    Looks like so much fun!!

  20. August 9, 2011 10:55 am

    One day I’ll make it out to one of these. The guy going through his stack of NT FB was pretty cool–some beautiful patches. It’s surprising just how many card collectors there are out there as well, seeing as how the people represented at the convention are only a fraction of our numbers!

  21. Tony permalink
    August 9, 2011 8:23 pm

    Wish i could go

  22. Reg permalink
    August 10, 2011 11:57 am

    i wish i was there

  23. August 13, 2011 3:05 pm

    Wish I could’ve been at Nationals with you guys

  24. Andrew permalink
    August 16, 2011 12:49 am

    Looks like fun. A few thousand $ would make 4 a great time!


  1. Panini Doing It Right at the 2011 National « – Sports Card Blog – Your Source of Hobby News, Reviews, Previews, and Opinion

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