Panini America Partner Profile: Adam Larry, NHLPA Director of Licensing

December 31, 2010

Editor’s Note: One of our objectives with The Knight’s Lance from the beginning was to highlight our business partners in hopes of showing a more personal side of the sports collectibles industry that often goes unnoticed.

In addition to being integral to our business, our partners inside the respective league offices have a huge say in the finished products that collectors covet. For that reason alone, we figure they’re worth you getting to know a little better, beginning with the NHLPA‘s Adam Larry.

NAME: Adam Larry
TITLE: NHLPA Director of Licensing
YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 5
THE BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB IS: Seeing new and innovative products before they go to market
FAVORITE TEAM: Toronto Blue Jays
FAVORITE PLAYER: Roberto Alomar
PRIZED POSSESSION: My kids

What’s the one thing about the approvals process that would surprise collectors the most? The vast knowledge of Jeremy Morin (NHLPA approvals manager)

What’s the one thing collectors will NEVER see on a trading card approved by your office? Me.

How often are you truly blown away by a trading card routing that crosses your desk in terms of innovation, design, photography, etc.? Five times a year.

If you had to pick one highlight moment from your career in the sports collectibles industry, what would it be? Asking Evan Kaplan (of the MLBPA) 10 questions at the 2010 Industry Summit.

How much input do you have on the creative or developmental aspects of trading cards? I have some input, but hopefully they ignore me and let the experts do their job.

What’s been the most significant development in the industry since you’ve been in it? Still waiting for it!

How would you characterize your collecting habits today? What about when you were a kid? I collected a lot more as a kid then I do now. I still have some great cards and full sets of hockey and baseball cards from when I was young.  Being in my position, I don’t think it is appropriate to collect cards.

What’s the most stressful aspect of your job on a day-to-day basis? Satisfying the interests of numerous parties, often with reasonable, but opposing, viewpoints.

In your highly-trained opinion, what elements constitute THE perfect trading card? One hard-signed card by Sidney Crosby, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, and Roberto Alomar on a cut up piece of Babe Ruth game-worn pants.

Finish this question: In 10 years, the sports card category will be . . . flourishing (provided we all work hard at it now).

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