IRVING, Texas, Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America, the world's largest licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company and the exclusive trading card manufacturer of the NBA, NBA Players and college basketball, and the number one overall pick of the New Orleans Pelicans and former Duke University superstar Zion Williamson, one of the most anticipated NBA rookies in years, announced today that they have teamed up for an exclusive trading card agreement. The meaningful pact will feature Williamson's only licensed college and NBA trading cards and autograph cards. His first officially licensed autograph trading cards will appear in Panini America's 2019 Contenders Draft Picks Basketball releasing in early September. His first officially licensed NBA autographs will release in October with the arrival of the iconic 2019-20 NBA Hoops Basketball product, as well as Panini's 25 additional NBA trading card products released during the season.
Williamson's first Panini NBA card was released on NBA Draft Night when he was selected first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and released in real-time on Panini's Instant trading card platform. Williamson's card shattered the previous record of an individual player trading card sold via Panini Instant across all sports (NBA, NFL, FIFA, NASCAR). Panini's Instant trading card platform is designed to celebrate real-time performances and milestones by making an individual player's trading card from that moment available in real-time and for 24 hours on www.paniniamerica.net or the Panini Direct app and will chronicle Zion's entire rookie season in the NBA.
"We're on the cusp of witnessing one of the most historic NBA Draft classes of all time and it's no secret that Zion is a driving force behind that fact. He's a transcendent talent and a must-have presence in all of our NBA and collegiate basketball products for this season and beyond," said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. "We're thrilled to partner with Zion and his team to deliver exclusive trading cards and autograph trading cards to fans and collectors that will uniquely chronicle his landmark rookie season and for the start of his NBA career while adding incredible value to our entire product roster."
"I'm truly excited to be a member of the Panini family, a company that continues to raise the bar in terms of content and creativity in the trading card arena," Williamson said. "I look forward to working closely with the team there to create basketball cards that my fans and card collectors will want not just throughout my rookie season in the NBA but throughout my entire career."
During his spectacular 2018-19 season at Duke, Williamson was named National College Player of the Year, First-Team All American, ACC Rookie of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP. He also earned Wayman Tisdale Award and Karl Malone Award honors. He averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 blocks and 2.1 steals per game last season.
ABOUT PANINI: 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, 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.