Panini America Delivers Charles Woodson’s First Certified Autograph Cards Since 1998

July 14, 2011

Nine years. That’s how long Joe White has doggedly pursued Green Bay Packers superstar cornerback Charles Woodson to sign autographs for Panini America’s NFL trading card products. For nine years, White, the company’s football acquisitions specialist, has never received so much as a counter offer from Woodson or his representatives.

So you can imagine White’s utter shock late last month when Woodson unexpectedly acknowledged his offer to sign a small number of autographs for Panini Americas’ 2011 lineup. Indeed, after almost a decade, one of the game’s premier shutdown corners finally stopped shutting White down. After a brief bit of back-and-forth negotiating, a deal was struck. White’s feet haven’t touched the ground since.

Breaking news: Charles Woodson will have new certified autographed trading cards on the market for the first time since his rookie season of 1998.

“I’m still in a little bit of shock,” White said on Thursday. “Woodson has been on my hit list seemingly for forever and I’d resigned myself to the fact that we’d never get him in our sets. But I went after him again this year like I always do, because I know what the presence of his autographs in our sets would mean to the countless Woodson collectors out there. They’re going to mean the world.”

That’s a big world, too, considering Woodson autographs appeal to a huge cross-section of folks, foremost among them passionate fans of the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. But Woodson also has big appeal for Heisman Trophy collectors, Michigan Wolverines collectors and, to a lesser extent, Oakland Raiders collectors.

In addition to signing stickers that will be distributed across several 2011 Panini America NFL products, Woodson also signed five special Super Bowl XLV cards for 2011 National Treasures Football that previously were available only at the Panini America booth during the Super Bowl XLV NFL Experience.

“I truly value every trading card deal I do for this company, but this one is a little bit more special to me for any number of reasons,” White said. “I can’t wait for collectors to get their hands on these beauties.”