CLEVELAND — On a history-making Thursday in downtown Cleveland, Panini America celebrated its intimate relationship with the game of football during the company’s inaugural Chalk Talk event, a star-studded gala featuring special guests — including emcee Trent Dilfer, legendary Cincinnati Bengal Anthony Munoz, and representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pop Warner and NFL Players Inc. — and one huge, industry-changing announcement.
An event that started with Dilfer and Panini America Vice President of Marketing Jason Howarth exploring the considerable merits of the talent-rich 2014 NFL rookie class culminated with NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon and Panini America CEO Mark Warsop announcing a new long-term exclusive agreement that will make Panini America the only NFLPA-licensed trading card manufacturer beginning with the 2016 season.
In between, Pop Warner Executive Director Jon Butler, Pop Warner Commissioner Sam Mutz, Pro Football Hall of Fame Vice President of Marketing Dave Motts, Dilfer, Munoz and members of Northeast Ohio Pop Warner’s Bedford Heights Saints offered heartfelt feedback on what their respective relationships with Panini America have meant to them and their organizations. The rapt audience inside a sixth-floor Westin Cleveland Downtown ballroom included Panini America hobby distributors, select hobby media and captivating conversation.
The gallery below details just some of the event’s highlights. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for a complete video recap of Panini America’s premiere Chalk Talk event and additional coverage of the NFL Players Inc. exclusive.