By Barry Janoff
April 23, 2012: With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III coming into the league, plus the movement of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow, there has been a lot of marketing news during the NFL off-season.
The latest example: Panini America has extended its alliance with the NFL and NFL Players Assn. via a long-term granting the company domestic and international rights for up to 18 product releases annually.
Financial terms of the deal were not released.
NFLPA last month also signed a long-term extension deal with the Topps Co.
Panini America said it plans to have a major presence at the 2012 NFLPA Rookie Debut and Rookie Premiere, the annual event during which rookies gather to put on their new NFL uniforms and pose for shots, including those to be used on trading cards.
Earlier this month, Panini America signed Luck, QB out of Stanford who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL draft on April 26, to an exclusive deal for cards during his upcoming rookie season.
The company this year has also signed deals with USA Basketball and the baseball Hall of Fame.
The new agreement takes effect immediately and will be incorporated into Panini America's first NFL product of the season, 2012 Prestige Football, which releases in June and will include the first licensed NFL rookie cards of anticipated draft. That would also include RG3, QB out of Baylor, who is being projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft by the Washington Redskins, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and other top prospects.
The set also is expected to feature Manning in his new Denver Broncos uniform and Tebow as a member of the New York Jets.
"We're pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and the NFLPA," Mark Warsop, CEO for Panini America, said in a statement. "The NFL and NFLPA are two of our most important licensors, and these new agreements will enable us to continue producing sought after products for NFL fans for years to come."
After signing Luck to the deal, Warsop commented, “Andrew Luck is poised to become one of the next great NFL quarterbacks, and football fans and collectors are eagerly anticipating his first NFL and NFL Players licensed trading cards. This partnership will help us deliver what absolutely will be the most-coveted collectibles of the 2012 NFL season."
According to Keith Gordon, President of NFL PLAYERS INC., the marketing and licensing subsidiary of the NFLPA, "The NFLPA is pleased to extend our partnership with Panini, a proven industry leader and innovator of NFL player trading cards. Panini football product continues to be highly pursued by hobby enthusiasts and novice collectors alike. We, along with our players, look forward to Panini's ongoing product development, hobby enrichment programs and support of our marquee events including the NFLPA Rookie Debut and Rookie Premiere."
Panini America's licensed trading cards and stickers roster includes the NFL, NFLPA, NBA, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company said it also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.
NFLPA, Topps Extend Trading Card Alliance
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