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Breaking News: Panini America Inks Multi-Year Trading Card Deal with MLBPA

September 15, 2011

IRVING, Texas/NEW YORK CITY – Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, and Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today a multi-year trading card agreement. The deal secures Panini’s presence in America’s Pastime and adds to its U.S. sports license roster, making Panini the only trading card company in the world with licenses in all four major sports.

Panini America will make its MLBPA-partnership debut with the December release of 2011 Elite Extra Edition, followed by 2011 Contenders Baseball, which will include the first Panini Autographs of All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton. The reigning American League Most Valuable Player also will appear on packaging for future Panini products.

“We’re very pleased to be working with Panini America,” said Evan Kaplan, Director, Licensing & Business Development for the Major League Baseball Players Association. “They have consistently developed innovative products that appeal to collectors of all ages both here in America and around the world. Panini’s MLBPA-licensed products will present Major League baseball players in a unique and exciting way.”

“The relationship with the MLBPA represents the culmination of a goal that we committed to when Panini entered the U.S. market just over two years ago, that of having a licensed presence in all four of the major sports in the U.S., and to utilize Panini’s creative approach to enhance the overall experience for collectors,” said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. “We are excited to join as a partner of the MLBPA and look forward to working with the MLBPA to continue to raise the visibility of their players and engage new collectors.”

The company will formally announce the agreement this afternoon at a press conference featuring Warsop, Kaplan and Hamilton. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for complete coverage of the event.

Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures fully licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Gellman permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:34 pm

    Congrats Panini! Looking forward to the excellent products. If you do for baseball what you’ve been doing for football, we’ve got a lot of great products to look forward to.

  2. Joe G permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:39 pm

    You have a deal with MLBPA….so does that mean we will get baseball cards without Team logos and names?

  3. September 15, 2011 12:52 pm

    This is GREAT news! I’ve been so impressed with Panini’s products since they made a splash on the scene a few years ago and I eagerly await buying some new baseball cards. Best of all…the monopoly falls!

  4. Peter L permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:52 pm

    Finally, some good baseball products will be available for people to collect! Great job Panini!

  5. kollectornet permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:53 pm

    Yes. Congrats you Panini and Congrats to us collectors.

  6. bonnev659 permalink
    September 15, 2011 12:57 pm


  7. Toronto permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:02 pm

    I can’t wait for this to come out, great news for baseball collectors!!

  8. September 15, 2011 1:02 pm


  9. Jay L permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:05 pm

    I love EEE, its my favorite product by far!!!

  10. hudsonfan15 permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:24 pm

    I cannot properly express in wordss how excited I am about this announcement. Some of my favorite cards and boxes in my 20 year collecting history were from Panini’s predecessors Donruss/Playoff. I hope to see some of these resurrected and re-booted with the current skill and technology that Panini has mastered in the last few years. Thanks for listening to the collecting world and bringing more variety to the true hobbyist.

    PS – PLEASE get Tim Hudson into your products!!!!!!!

  11. Derek Stepan's # 1 Collector permalink
    September 15, 2011 1:46 pm

    Hi Tracy…just a friendly question….will Panini baseball have team logos on their uniforms for stars & rookies , or will they be airbrushed out…i dont like what youre displaying on your Playoff’s Contenders” Josh Hamilton, nothing personal..looks amateurish ! Thanks, Joe R.

  12. John permalink
    September 15, 2011 2:11 pm

    Great news, welcome back to Baseball, full time. Elite has been great but can only get better with a license.

  13. Matthew Gilman permalink
    September 15, 2011 2:32 pm

    Congrats Panini!! Finally some great baseball cards!!

  14. Card Design Critic permalink
    September 15, 2011 3:06 pm

    Is the deal solely with the players association? As in no MLB logos or official jerseys?

  15. Mont Toronto permalink
    September 15, 2011 4:17 pm

    The empire has begun! Congratulations, Panini! You are now in a position to become a major player in the professional sporting world–and you don’t even have to go to practice or hit the gym to do it!

  16. September 15, 2011 6:02 pm

    It will be nice to see some variety and choice back in the market, and if your baseball cards look as good as your other cards I’ll be buying them up. Hopefully you can bring back some of the better baseball lines from the past, like Diamond Kings and some more baseball-focused Fans of the Game inserts.

  17. September 15, 2011 6:11 pm

    That Jumbo signed version would look sweet in my Memobilia room.

  18. September 15, 2011 10:29 pm

    Will you be able to show team logos? I noticed it’s not an MLB license as topps is exclusive there.

  19. September 16, 2011 12:52 am

    This is excellent news, congratulations Panini.

    The baseball card market has become complacent since an un-named company has had sole licensing, hopefully MLB licensing will follow the MLBPA license and Panini can knock the other guys off their ivory tower of lazy designs and boring gimmick cards.

  20. September 16, 2011 8:01 am

    Welcome back Donruss! I’m incredibly psyched.

  21. September 18, 2011 10:46 pm

    No logos though, kind of a bummer. How long is Topps’ exclusive license for? loking forward to seeing a return of Diamond Kings!!!

  22. dave gentile permalink
    November 4, 2011 4:46 pm

    I have absolutely no desire for cards of guys in t-shirts and blank hats. Until, you get an MLB license, I have no interest.


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