Minnesota Native Brian Bolanda Claims Top Prize in NBA Player of the Day Promo

August 01, 2016

2016 NBA POD Winner Post

Close to 100,000 collectors at 350 hobby shops across the country participated in the inaugural Panini NBA Player of the Day promotion last spring. Although they won nearly 50,000 prizes, just one collector, Brian Bolanda of Apple Valley, Minn., parlayed his lucky pack of Panini NBA trading cards into the chance to spend a day with an NBA player.

Before the start of the 2016-17 NBA season, the 45-year-old collector will host a private party at his home for friends and family with the NBA player attending as the guest of honor. During the party the player will talk basketball, sign autographs, pose for photos, open packs of Panini NBA cards and maybe even shoot some hoops. After the party, the group will take a limousine to visit Bolanda’s favorite hobby shop, The Ballpark in Apple Valley, Minn., to sign free autographs for up to 200 of the shop’s loyal customers.

“Many people collect Panini NBA trading cards because it brings them closer to their favorite players. That will surely become a reality for Brian when there’s a player sitting in his living room,” said Jason Howarth, Vice President of Marketing for Panini America.  “We want to thank The Ballpark and the 300-plus other shops who enthusiastically supported the inaugural Panini NBA Player of the Day promotion this year and awarded NBA card collectors thousands of prizes.”

Bolanda started collecting cards when he was 8-years-old. He collected up until his mid-20s before picking up the hobby again in 2009. The Minnesota native collects both basketball and hockey cards and memorabilia. His favorite Panini NBA product this season was 2015-16 Flawless Basketball and the most cherished cards in his collection are a 2015-16 NBA Hoops Basketball Karl-Anthony Towns autograph and a 2014-15 National Treasures Basketball Kobe Bryant.

“After hearing the news that I had won the national sweepstakes, I drove right over to The Ballpark and gave (shop owner) Calvin Havercamp a huge high five,” Bolanda says. “I never thought there would be a better collecting feeling than pulling an autographed card from a pack. I was wrong. This is the highlight of my 30 years of collecting.”

The centerpiece of the Panini NBA Player of the Day promotion was a poster featuring Panini America card images of one player from each of the 30 NBA teams and Panini America spokesmen Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant as “Wild Cards.” Each day, a different player on the poster was designated as the “Panini NBA Player of the Day.” Every time a collector purchased a pack of officially licensed Panini America NBA trading cards and pulled the Player of the Day or a Wild Card, they won a prize. Each week, stores conducted a drawing from the daily winners to award a weekly prize. Then, at the end of the month-long promotion, each store awarded a grand prize to its store winner and entered them into the national sweepstakes. Bolanda was selected from all of the shop winners.

Each participating shop received a free merchandise kit with all of the materials needed to run the promotion, including; promotional posters, shopping bags, exclusive Panini NBA POD promo packs, T-shirts, water bottles, tote bags and an exclusive Panini NBA POD autographed card from top young stars including Kristaps Porzingis, Justise Winslow, Devin Booker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marcus Smart, Harrison Barnes and more, slabbed and numbered in a protective case by Beckett Grading.

Be sure to stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance in the coming weeks as we unveil the NBA player with whom Bolanda will spend the day as the grand prize winner.