Panini America Begins Releasing Images of 2012 Black Friday Promotion (Gallery)

November 13, 2012

Last year, Panini America sent shock waves reverberating throughout the collectibles industry with a Black Friday national wrapper redemption promotion that not only made local hobby shops a post-Thanksgiving shopping destination for perhaps the first time ever, it also generated in excess of $1.5 million in incremental revenue according to Industry Summit officials.

What’s more, it introduced some of last season’s most in-demand and valuable trading cards through a Black Friday-exclusive trading card set delivered via black-foiled two-card packs that kept collectors from coast to coast buzzing well into the new year.

Hailed by many industry experts as the most successful hobby shop promotion of all time, Panini America’s 2011 Black Friday initiative paved the way for a similar Father’s Day event last summer and sent expectations for this year’s event almost instantly ascending to insanely lofty levels.

“Panini America’s 2011 Black Friday was the most successful promotion in the 20-year history of Sports Cards Plus of San Antonio,” said store owner Charlie DiPietro, who has more than 1,300 2012 Black Friday packs arriving next week. “We gave away approximately 1,400 Black Friday Packs to our customers who bought boxes and packs of Panini America products last year. Customers were excited with their Black Friday pulls and kept coming back to our store for more. All of my customers were extremely happy with this promotion and when my customers are happy, I’m happy.

“Once again this year, we’re allowing our customers to buy Panini America products today to reserve their 2012 Black Friday packs. We’re also holding a ‘2012 Panini Black Friday Best Pull Contest’ this year that will award the best Black Friday pull in my store with a $100 gift certificate good for anything at Sports Cards Plus.”

For other stores, such as Steve Mandy’s Attack of the Baseball Cards in Union, N.J., Panini America’s 2012 Black Friday promotion will provide a needed ray of sunshine in an area of the nation that desperately needs it.

“Attack of the Baseball Cards is really looking forward to once again being part of this promotion,” Mandy said. “While last year’s promotion was a resounding success, this year we will be trying to provide a little uplift to our hurricane-torn customers. Almost everyone in our area was effected in some way by this super storm. Most had no power for extended periods of time, many suffered damage or personal losses; many lost their entire card or memorabilia collections and more.

“Through Panini America’s Black Friday, we will be attempting to help return some small amount of normalcy and a smile to the faces of our customers. This promotion will give our store the chance to donate to the collection-rebuilding efforts of one of our younger customers.

“Our customers loved last years promotion so much that the supply that we thought would last the entire weekend ran out in one day. So many customers had big pulls that the promotion was talked about for many months afterward. On a weekend that in the past saw our customers flocking to malls and department stores, because of Panini America our store had amazing Black Friday sales for the first time in our 29 years in the hobby.”

Today, with Black Friday 2012 just 10 days, it’s safe to say that Panini America officials won’t be content with merely meeting those heightened expectations — but by obliterating them. To that end, the company today begins previewing the myriad unique elements of its 2012 Black Friday set that will drive interest, enthusiasm and excitement for weeks and months to come.

We provided a small glimpse into the 2012 Black Friday base set last week, but we’ll be wowing you with the set’s rich autograph and memorabilia content with one must-see gallery after another, beginning with today’s spotlight on cards featuring pieces of hats worn by the top 2012 NBA and NFL rookies along with their autographs parallels.

Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for complete coverage of the Panini America Black Friday phenomenon, including additional galleries, a complete list of participating dealers and more.