It's not every day that we receive correspondence from a collector based in Panini's homeland of Italy. It's rarer still when that correspondence includes the phrase "I'll be traveling with a friend for a 10-day tour of Texas."
It’s not every day that we receive correspondence from a collector based in Panini’s homeland of Italy. It’s rarer still when that correspondence includes the phrase “I’ll be traveling with a friend for a 10-day tour of Texas.”
So when Vincenzo Lucarelli’s email hit my inbox a few weeks back, it certainly grabbed my attention. It didn’t hurt that Lucarelli mentioned how much he enjoyed Panini America’s break videos, reading about our products on The Knight’s Lance or that he’d many times visited our global headquarters in Modena, Italy.
Lucarelli asked if it might be possible to drop by Panini America HQ during his sports-intensive vacation. We were happy to oblige. That visit took place Tuesday morning when Lucarelli and his collecting comrade Stefano Micolitti — all the way from Milan — hit our front door.
After a brief introduction and a quick exchange of handshakes, we embarked on a tour of the building highlighted by brief stops in Marketing, Panini Authentic, Acquisitions, Product Development and Prepress. Throughout the tour, I was repeatedly blown away by the sheer amount of NBA and international basketball knowledge coming from the minds of Lucarelli and Micolitti.
In fact, they were so impressive that we asked them to co-host a special episode of Panini Unwrapped. As you’ll see in the video, they nailed it. After their award-worthy world-premiere performance, they briefly chatted with Jason Howarth, Panini America’s Vice President of Marketing, on their way to continuing their American vacation, which included future stops at nearby Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Houston’s Minute Maid Park and the Houston TRISTAR show.
They exited Panini America HQ with a few parting gifts, some nice photos and enough memories to last a lifetime.
“We had great time with you and your colleagues,” Lucarelli wrote via email yesterday. “Maybe ‘great time’ is not enough to explain the excitement and the emotions we had. I have to check for some superlatives.”
The feeling is mutual.