Panini America On Location: The Sights and Sounds from Day 3 at the 2011 National

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- It shouldn’t be this simple. But for one lucky Panini America collector late Friday morning, it was.

Chicago-based freelance writer Dan Campana contributed to this report and will file updates and images to The Knight’s Lance throughout the week. 

ROSEMONT, Ill. — It shouldn’t be this simple. But for one lucky Panini America collector late Friday morning, it was.

Chicago-area hobbyist Dan Piehl walked up to Panini America’s Tracy Hackler innocently enough. He just wanted to say hello, shake a hand and talk about the hobby.

Minutes later, Piehl joined Hackler and Scott Prusha for a special episode of Panini Unwrapped at the Panini America booth on the floor of the 32nd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention.

Oh, and they were breaking none other than 2010-11 National Treasures Basketball — and Piehl walked away with the goods, including autographs and jersey cards from Dolph Schayes, Connie Hawkins, George Gervin and Kobe Bryant.

“People really do win,” Hackler said as the trio cracked into a pair of boxes.

In the bigger scheme of things, the Panini America crew truly has enjoyed its visit to the 2011 National, which has been busy since the doors opened on Wednesday but especially so on Friday — when the line to participate in the company’s popular wrapper-redemption program stretched beyond the cavernous boundaries of the corporate booth.

“The whole show, for us, is so important, so vital, because we get to interact with the people who support us all year long,” Hackler said.

The feeling is mutual. Not only were collectors ripping mass quantities of basketball, football and hockey all around Panini’s booth, they were also complimenting Panini America’s innovation and ability to cater to all types of collectors.

On one side of the table, collectors talked up how they appreciated the company’s stepped-up approach to retail products by including autographs in boxes. On the other side, a father-son duo complimented Panini America for continuing to improve the high-end National Treasures Football product.

But don’t take our word for it. Stop by the company’s energy-filled booth this weekend for wrapper redemptions and box wars to see for yourself. You never know what you might walk away with.

Right now, though, you can walk away with the following video and gallery showcasing just some of Friday’s highlights.


79 Replies to “Panini America On Location: The Sights and Sounds from Day 3 at the 2011 National”

  1. Great Pictures ans Videos! Really wish I could have been there. Thank for your coverage its been great. Glad to see so much interest in your products. Keep up the good work

  2. I love the player sketch cards. they really give you an idea of what the players think about and they poor it out on the card, some think very simply and others think very complicated. If I was there I would be sprawled out on the floor to with a mountain of card wrappers all around me. Would you let me put a tent up in front of your booth so I could sleep there?

  3. this is really cool, I hope to go one day, really wish they would move it more. Charlotte would be agreat place to have it

  4. Wow, it would have been great to be that guy.
    1. You’re at the National 2. You get to meet Tracy 3. You get to participate in an episode of Panini Unwrapped. 4. You get to open National Treasures and 5. You get to keep the cards!
    What more could any collector want?

  5. man, i wanna go. although i do live in australia, so its a fair trek across the other side of the world. one day..

  6. I really wish I was there!!! It’d be a blast to look through all the sketch cards and even try to break some packs for one. Great job!

  7. Thanks for taking us there! Brings out the kid in everyone. And its a cool way for family members to bond. Except when Mike said, “Don’t tell my wife about the money”. Cause that is everyone’s problem too! LOL! Good job, Panini!

  8. Wish I was there–I love the Panini lineup this year–especially the 2011 Football releases. Keep it coming!

  9. Would love to be there just to take in the sights. There’s got to be some amazing stuff to look at. Heck, just seeing the PSA 9 Mantle that’s there would be great.

  10. Tracy, you have to have one of the best jobs in the world….I put it right up there with getting paid to play a game every day….and its really cool to see the company giving back to the devoted collectors who love the brand and products. Wish I was there!

  11. I’m not sure i like the pics or videos! LOL. They are making me wish i could have gone this year. You guys are doing a great job covering the action and keeping us informed. Thanks

  12. Wow! Wish something like this would come to Florida! Being 15 I can’t travel that much though just for a card show. Family would never let me. Keep posting updates though love seeing the pictures!

    Thanks for the contest by the way.

  13. Thanks for the video and all the pictures of the National…this is the next best thing for those of us that can’t make it! The daily updates from the National is first class, please don’t stop! Thanks Panini!

  14. Wow Dan congrats on your pulls with Tracy. Sounds like a real good box of National Treasures. I just purchased one myself recently with a Kobe Bryant auto and a Derrick Rose Auto number 1 of 10. That would have been a awesome pull at the show in Chicago..Except I couldn’t make it…just my luck.

  15. I wish i was able to go, but i had to go out of town for work. Panini looks like they did a great job, and what a pack redemption program. i went to the last national in chicago and no card company created as much buzz as panini. great job guys

  16. Looks so awesome!! i hope to go next year and hopefully i do but tracy keep up the good work your doing an amazing job right now!!!

  17. Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant. Oklahoma conection. There is a lot of talent in OK. National treasures basketball. Give it an A

  18. Gold Standard looks sweet, wish there was a Jeremy Lin card in it though. But I’ll make sure to chase down his singles in NT!

  19. Wrappers, wrappers, everywhere! Who wouldn’t want to be able to bust those many packs! Hey Tracy, hope they didn’t make you clean up all the wrappers that didn’t make it into or fell out of the garbage cans every night. 😛

    Would love to get into a box war with somebody one day. haha.

  20. Looks like a great show! Wish I could have attended the convention! Im there next year, think its in Maryland.

  21. One day I’ll make it out to one of these. The guy going through his stack of NT FB was pretty cool–some beautiful patches. It’s surprising just how many card collectors there are out there as well, seeing as how the people represented at the convention are only a fraction of our numbers!

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