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 today that the two entities have entered into an exclusive long-term and industry-shaping 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 historic 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. Prior to the announcement, with Pop Warner players on hand, Panini awarded a helmet equipment grant to Pop Warner’s Northeast Ohio Pop Warner Association on behalf of Panini and Panini Authentic exclusive athlete, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
“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.
The Panini Group, established almost 50 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NBA, NFL, NFLPA, NHL, NHLPA, FIFA, MLBPA, Disney, Warner Bros., and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of over 800. For more information visit us at www.paniniamerica.net, www.paninigroup.com or www.paniniamerica.wordpress.com. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
ABOUT NFL PLAYERS INC.:
NFL Players Inc. is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. NFLPI has been a trusted resource since 1994, delivering access to the influence, power and personal stories of NFL players. NFLPI is a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking licensing rights, access to players through hospitality and events, marketing strategy and player procurement. For more information, please visit www.nflplayers.com/info.