IRVING, Texas, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America, the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, and USA Baseball, the national governing body of amateur baseball in the United States, announced today a long-term extension of the exclusive agreement that the two entities first entered into in 2012. The extension continues Panini America's status as the Official Baseball Card of USA Baseball and grants Panini America exclusive trading card category rights to all USA Baseball marks as well as the annual Collegiate, 18U and 15U National Teams.
The first product under the new extension, 2017 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball, arrives today and incorporates members of the 2016 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team as well as the 18U and 15U National Teams, and the 17U and 14U National Team Development Programs. 2017 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball also will deliver unique autograph and game-worn memorabilia cards from the players.
As part of the new extension, Panini America logo patches will be added to various USA Baseball uniforms worn during international competition. Panini America will produce one standalone product devoted exclusively to USA Baseball every year but will also include USA Baseball content throughout its complete line of MLBPA-licensed baseball products.
"We've thoroughly enjoyed our exclusive partnership with USA Baseball during the first five years and we're excited about our future together," said Jim Stefano, Panini America Senior Director of Product Development. "Being able to develop content that represents the Red, White and Blue and the players that proudly wear that uniform has been rewarding for us and has allowed us to enrich our baseball product portfolio."
"Over the past five years Panini America has done an unprecedented job fostering the USA Baseball brand in the trading card category," said David Perkins, USA Baseball Chief Operating Officer. "We are thrilled to extend our partnership and we are excited to work with them on new programs leading our pastime's future to new heights."
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 NFL, NFLPA, NBA, MLBPA, NHL, NHLPA, College, FIFA, MLBPA, USA Baseball, Disney, and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the 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.
ABOUT USA BASEBALL:
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Olympic, Premier12 and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives including PLAYBALL and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit the organization's official websites: USABaseball.com, USABaseball.Education, PLAYBALL.org, PitchSmart.org, GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseballShop.com.
Tracy Hackler, Panini America
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SOURCE Panini America