Panini America Teams with NFL PLAYERS for Rookie Debut at the 2011 NFL Draft

April 26, 2011


Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company and the exclusive trading card partner of the 2011 NFL Draft, announced today that it has joined as a sponsor of this week’s NFL PLAYERS Rookie Debut in New York City.

The event, now in its second year, kicks off Thursday and will be attended by more than 20 of the top draft-eligible players, including Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Blaine Gabbert and Julio Jones.

“To us, these players are more than just draft picks who will make their officially licensed NFL trading card debuts in Panini America products; they’re valued partners with whom we will begin to start long-term relationships,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. “Being drafted is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for many of these players and our presence at the NFLPA Rookie Debut allows us to capture that experience and incorporate it into Panini trading cards.”

Over the course of three days, Panini America will take advantage of unprecedented access to tomorrow’s NFL stars by conducting photo shoots for upcoming Panini Football trading card releases, conducting exclusive interviews which will be featured on The Knight’s Lance, the official blog of Panini America, and participating in the NFLPA “Let Us Play” Fitness Clinic during the NFLPA Rookie Debut.

“The NFLPA Rookie Debut is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with tomorrow’s most influential athletes today,” said Keith Gordon, President of NFL PLAYERS.  “During the past two years, Panini has successfully differentiated itself from others in the category by taking advantage of opportunities like this for exclusive access to our athletes.”

Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures fully licensed trading cards and stickers for the NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, NBA and FIFA World Cup. The company also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.