NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing division of the NFL Players Association, and sports and entertainment collectibles company Panini America has signed an exclusive long-term agreement that will make Panini the sole manufacturer of NFLPA-licensed trading cards and collectible stickers beginning with the 2016 NFL season.
The historic announcement was made during a special luncheon at The Westin in downtown Cleveland, featuring ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz and representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pop Warner, NFLPI, Panini America and trading card distributors. Before the announcement, with Pop Warner players on hand, Panini awarded a helmet equipment grant to Pop Warner’s Northeast Ohio Pop Warner Association on behalf of Panini and Panini Authentic exclusive athlete, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
“We feel very confident in Panini America’s ability to deliver quality and value to consumers at all levels, while providing long-term stability to the football trading card category,” says Keith Gordon, president, NFLPI. “Significant investments in product innovation, quality, authenticity and creative player marketing have endeared Panini to the existing fan base, while actively cultivating the next generation of collectors.”