June 20, 2023

Panini Unveils Billboard In Times Square During NBA Draft Week To Showcase Unique Partnership

Irving, TX – June 20, 2023 – Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA and the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, has announced exclusive, multi-year agreements with projected top NBA Draft Picks and twins, Amen and Ausar Thompson for autograph trading cards and memorabilia in advance of the 2023 NBA Draft. In addition to autograph trading cards and memorabilia, Amen and Ausar will also be featured on Panini NBA packaging and take part in marketing initiatives.

“Early on we identified Amen and Ausar as great players that would be able to translate their game to the NBA while also having a unique and shared story to tell unlike any other NBA Draft Picks waiting to hear their name called on Thursday Night” said Jason Howarth, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Athlete Relations. “Their story and journey was so intriguing and compelling we felt like both Amen and Ausar would be great players to partner with exclusively.  It brings a whole new meaning to the idea of dual autograph cards where two players are featured – we are excited to partner with Amen and Ausar and celebrate their Rookie year in unique ways around the globe and in some of our most popular trading card brands

Amen’s and Ausar’s journey began at nine-years old when they wrote about their “NBA Dreams” that included daily steps they wanted to take to get better. Their discipline and commitment to pursuing this dream took them both to Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where they won a High School State Championship before both deciding to join the Overtime Elite League (OTE). In their second season with OTE they teamed up to play for OTE’s City Reapers. They are now on the cusp of seeing their dreams become a reality on Thursday night during the NBA Draft. It’s also a moment that will make those dreams transform into individual realities as they likely join different NBA Teams and their basketball playing days potentially go separate ways.  Those NBA Dreams turned reality will be celebrated on a monstrous billboard in Times Square during NBA Draft Week.

“Partnering with Panini is exciting, especially given that they wanted to work with both Ausar and I as we take this next step in becoming NBA players.  Knowing how much we both dreamed of this moment, it’s unreal to see it become a reality and know we’ll both have our own NBA trading cards,” said Amen Thompson.

“Growing up, you dream of being able to have your own Panini NBA trading card. To see that become a reality, and knowing that my brother will have that same experience, and that we also will be featured on Panini NBA products around the world together, is incredibly special,” said Ausar Thompson.

About Panini America


Panini America is a subsidiary of The Panini Group, established over 60 years ago in Modena, Italy with subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States.  Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NFL, NFLPA, NBA, NBPA, NASCAR, FIFA, UFC, WWE, College, Disney and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Elite 11 and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.

Panini has distribution channels in more than 150 countries and employs a staff of over 1,200. For more information visit us at, or You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


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