IRVING, Texas, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America (www.paniniamerica.net), the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company and the exclusive trading card partner of the 2011 NFL Draft, announced today that it has joined as a sponsor of this week's NFLPA Rookie Debut in New York City.
The event, now in its second year, kicks off Thursday and will be attended by more than 20 of the top draft-eligible players, including Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Blaine Gabbert and Julio Jones.
"To us, these players are more than just draft picks who will make their officially licensed NFL trading card debuts in Panini America products; they're valued partners with whom we will begin to start long-term relationships," said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. "Being drafted is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for many of these players and our presence at the NFLPA Rookie Debut allows us to capture that experience and incorporate it into Panini trading cards."
Over the course of three days, Panini America will take advantage of unprecedented access to tomorrow's NFL stars by conducting photo shoots for upcoming Panini Football trading card releases, conducting exclusive interviews which will be featured on The Knight's Lance, the official blog of Panini America http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/ and participating in the NFLPA "Let Us Play" Fitness Clinic during the NFLPA Rookie Debut.
"The NFLPA Rookie Debut is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with tomorrow's most influential athletes today," said Keith Gordon, President of NFL PLAYERS. "During the past two years, Panini has successfully differentiated itself from others in the category by taking advantage of opportunities like this for exclusive access to our athletes."
Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures fully licensed trading cards and stickers for the NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, NBA and FIFA World Cup. The company also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.
ABOUT NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS INC:
Formed in 1994, National Football League Players Inc. is the exclusive licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. Representing more than 1,800 active and many memorable former NFL players, NFL Players Inc. "takes the helmets off" the players and markets them as personalities as well as professional athletes. NFL Players Inc. licenses group player rights and negotiates and facilitates extensive player marketing opportunities including retail licensing, corporate sponsorships, promotions, special events, and broadcast programs.
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 fast becoming the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NBA, NFL, NHL, FIFA, Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini has distribution channels in more than 100 countries and employs a staff of more than 800. For more information visit us at www.paniniamerica.net or www.paninigroup.com. You can also follow Panini America on its official blog The Knight's Lance http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/, on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, and on YouTube.
Tracy Hackler, Panini America
SOURCE Panini America