Jarryd Hayne ‘No Autograph’ RC Fueling Big Buzz in New 2015 Contenders Football
Australian rugby superstar Jarryd Hayne created an international furor during the 2015 season by making a highly publicized transition to the NFL as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. His beastly exploits early in training camp were must-see material on NFL highlight reels and riveted a nation full of fans in the land down under. Ultimately, he played in eight games during his rookie season, rushing for 52 yards and catching passes for another 27. But with today’s release of 2015 Contenders Football, Hayne is creating buzz all over again.
Hayne was originally slated to be included with autographs in Contenders’ fabled Rookie Ticket Rookie Card subset. Ultimately, Panini America officials were unable to reach an autograph deal with the Australian star and made the decision — based on brand history and on Hayne’s international popularity — to include his Rookie Ticket cards as “No Autograph” variations. The cards were included as super-short-printed bonus hits and do not replace an autograph hit in boxes of 2015 Contenders Football.
“Dating back to 2001 Contenders Football, we’ve periodically had some rookies who we weren’t able to include in the program due to the fact that the player didn’t want to sign cards, and there is a precedent for the inclusion of “No Autograph” rookie tickets,” said Nick Matijevich, Panini America’s Director of Product Development for NFL Brands. “In this instance, we thought we were going to be able to come to terms on an autograph deal and when we didn’t, we decided that we would include Hayne as a ‘No Autograph’ SSP that would fall as a bonus hit for collectors as opposed to having a hole in the checklist. Due to his international popularity, in addition to people trying to build the set, we assume there will be an active market for these cards.”
To Matijevich’s point, one of Hayne’s “No Autograph” cards has been listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $599.95. Below, we showcase a brief gallery detailing Contenders Football’s “No Autograph” history.