IRVING, Texas, Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America, (www.paniniamerica.net), the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced today that it has entered into long-term exclusive business partnership with Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, including trading card, autograph, marketing and business development aspects. As part of the agreement, Durant will serve as a global NBA spokesman for the company and his autographed trading cards and memorabilia will be available exclusively through Panini America (www.paniniamerica.net) and Panini Authentic (www.paniniauthentic.com). In addition, Durant will have unprecedented input into product development and creative for select Panini NBA trading card products, as well as into product development for his Panini Authentic memorabilia products. This announcement coincides with the launch of Panini's first TV campaign exclusively featuring Kevin Durant that will air on kid-centric networks including Cartoon Network, Disney XD and Nickelodeon.
"Kevin Durant is one of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world but he transcends the game of basketball," said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO. "The way he carries himself on and off the court is as inspirational to us as it is to millions of fans throughout the world. We're proud to be entering this new exclusive relationship with Kevin and the Panini family and look forward to a bright future with him. He's meant so much to our company, our products and our brand and we're excited to expand that relationship through both Kevin's business sense and his fanbase."
As part of the agreement, Durant and his autograph will appear in Panini's NBA trading card products and will be part of product packaging for both hobby and mass retail products. To date, Durant has been featured on one of the first Panini trading card exclusive products for Target and will appear on the packaging for Panini's Donruss brand, a Walmart exclusive product for the 2015-16 season which is set to release in advance of the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
"I've been proud to work with Panini for the past five years," said Kevin Durant. "They've been a great partner in terms of overall support and creativity, and I'm really looking forward to expanding my role with our new commercial and by working with their product development team for years to come."
Panini's first TV campaign featuring Kevin Durant includes an extended version that will be integrated across digital/social platforms and can be viewed here along with a :15 second teaser spot. The spot features a young Panini NBA trading card collector whose Kevin Durant trading cards come to life as the young fan calls out plays.
"We are really excited about this partnership and this new creative direction. Kevin loves playing the game of basketball as much as our NBA collectors love watching him play and collecting his cards. We thought what's better than bringing the two together and bringing our Panini NBA trading cards to life in the the way so many kids get excited when they open up a pack of cards and find Kevin Durant? We're looking forward to more great product and marketing collaborations with KD in the future," said Jason Howarth, Vice President of Marketing.
Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company also has exclusive relationships with USA Baseball, USA Basketball and U.S. Soccer. In addition, Panini also has exclusive relationships with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and The Pro Football Hall of Fame, and owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.
The Panini Group, established more than 50 years ago in Modena, Italy, has 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 NBA, NFL, NFLPA, NHL, NHLPA, FIFA, MLBPA, Disney, Warner Bros., and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of over 800. For more information visit us at www.paniniamerica.net, www.paninigroup.com or http://blog.paniniamerica.net/. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Tracy Hackler, Panini America
SOURCE Panini America