Recapping Panini America’s Weekend at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (Video & Gallery)

January 20, 2014

Panini America 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Weekend (48)

CARSON, Calif. — As a balmy Saturday evening transitioned briskly into a chilly Saturday night, Panini America’s impact on the third annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl remained ever present throughout the StubHub Center long after Team National defeated Team American in this burgeoning showcase of the country’s top draft-eligible talent. The company’s brightly hued “Panini” logo was virtually everywhere: On player uniforms, on scoreboards, on stadium walls, painted larger-than-life on the playing surface itself.

And right there on a podium at midfield just minutes after the game, Panini America CEO Mark Warsop awarded the game’s championship trophy to legendary National coach Dick Vermeil. Seconds later, Panini America VP of Marketing Jason Howarth handed the game’s MVP trophy to LSU fullback J.C. Copeland. All the while, Panini America game ambassadors EJ Manuel, Tavon Austin and Denard Robinson looked on from the podium.

But Panini America’s bold presenting sponsorship of a game that continues to gain serious momentum in the eyes of NFL scouts was about so much more than a simple branding exercise. It was about joining forces with a valuable partner in the NFLPA to get to know the game’s next class of rookies and to teach them about the business side of the game. It was about bringing in eight of the most collected rookies from the 2013 season for the express purpose of finishing their autograph commitments for the 2013 product season. It was about entertaining business partners and NFL players in the StubHub VIP suite. It was about partnering once again with Pop Warner to deliver a memorable on-field experience for more than 50 local Pop Warner athletes. In short, it was about using the game as a meaningful platform to push Panini America’s football business forward in a big way. Mission: Accomplished.

In the video and gallery that follow, we bring you just some of the highlights from Panini America’s whirlwind weekend at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, including tons of footage from Saturday’s game and some captivating first looks at some of the nicest EJ Manuel cards you’ll ever see, including a unique “Passing the Torch” National Treasures booklet signed by both Manuel and his father, Eric. If you missed any of our action from earlier in the week, be sure to check out the gallery we posted Friday.

Enjoy, and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for continued coverage of the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Presented By Panini.

First, the video:

Now, the gallery: