IRVING, Texas, May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America, (www.paniniamerica.net), the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, recently released 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football, the company's first college-only trading card product since reaching exclusive agreements with more than 400 colleges and universities earlier this year. Already, the product is being hailed as a resounding success, bolstered by autographs from more than 100 top 2015 NFL Draft Picks including Jameis Winston (Florida State University), Marcus Mariota (University of Oregon), Amari Cooper (University of Alabama), Kevin White (West Virginia University) and more.
In conjunction with its collegiate licenses, Panini also utilizes its group player rights for rookies and active players through license agreement with NFL Players, Inc. to feature current NFL players in their collegiate uniforms, creating a wider range of product content beyond just players that are entering the NFL.
Charlie DiPietro, the owner of Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio, says the product has been overwhelmingly well received by customers at the store he's operated for more than 20 years. "The reviews are in. San Antonio football card collectors give 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football two huge thumbs up," DiPietro said. "We received our initial shipment of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football at about 2 p.m. the day the product released. By close of business that day our customers quickly busted through 47 boxes.
"Customers like the look of Contenders and all the inserts. We had a couple of groups of people busting boxes at the same time and everyone was happy. In addition to our regular customers, we had a young lady come in with her dad to celebrate making the honor roll with a box of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football. Everyone said they would be back for more. In fact, I have a customer in store right now busting five boxes as we speak – and he just pulled a Marcus Mariota autograph."
Although 24-pack hobby boxes of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football are supposed to be delivering five autographs, most boxes are delivering at least six autographs and some are delivering seven. The unannounced bonus has certainly captured the attention of fans and collectors across the country. The product also is available at mass retail in 42-card blaster boxes ($19.99 SRP) that include two autographs.
"CLC is thrilled with the very positive retail and consumer feedback surrounding the launch of 2015 Contenders Draft Picks," said Dave Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Non-Apparel Brand Development for The Collegiate Licensing Company, the licensing affiliate of IMG College which brokered Panini's deals with 134 schools for use of their respective marks. "In a condensed time frame, Panini quickly developed a highly compelling and comprehensive first set. This immediate, robust sell-in and sell-through should bode very well for Panini's future upcoming collegiate initiatives."
For additional information on 2015 Contenders Draft Picks Football, visit The Knight's Lance, the official blog of Panini America, or iCollectPanini.com.
Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures licensed trading cards and stickers for the CLC, 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 relationships with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Baseball 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 almost 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 MLBPA, NBA, NFL, NFL Players Inc., NHL, FIFA, USA Baseball, Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and other key properties from many other licensors. 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 www.paniniamerica.wordpress.com. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and on YouTube.
Tracy Hackler, Panini America
Andrew Giangola, IMG College
SOURCE Panini America