Panini America Issues Statement Regarding NHL/NHLPA Licensing Situation

February 27, 2014

Panini America, the global leader in licensed sports and entertainment collectibles, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon in regard to the NHL/NHLPA license.

“We are disappointed to learn of the NHL and NHLPA’s decision to go in another direction in the trading card category,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “During the term of our agreement we faced many challenges, including a late start to the agreement and an NHL work stoppage. Through all of the challenges we established trading card hockey brands that collectors came to love and look forward to, including Dominion, Prime, Rookie Anthology, Limited and Totally Certified. Our marketing is unprecedented in the category, including activation and marketing support around the global NHL Premiere Games, the two All-Star Games that were played during our four-year agreement, Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, NHL Faceoff, NHL Draft, Stanley Cup and this year’s outdoor NHL Stadium Series. Our commitment and investment with NHL Teams and individual NHL Players to produce great Panini Hockey trading card products is unsurpassed in the trading card category and will continue to be until our license expires on June 30.”

“While we never like to lose a license that we were committed to, this decision gives us the opportunity to further enhance our other sports licensed products. We’ll continue to innovate and grow the trading card category for the NBA, NFL/NFLPA, MLBPA, 2014 FIFA World Cup and expand our strategic initiatives in these core sports on a global level.”