IRVING, Texas, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Panini America (www.paniniamerica.net), the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company and the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA, will pay tribute to Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the 2012-13 season with a unique year-long trading card set, Kobe Anthology, devoted exclusively to the five-time NBA champion.
One five-card pack of Kobe Anthology cards will be included inside every hobby box of Panini America's 2012-13 NBA products, beginning with the release of 2012-13 NBA Hoops later this month. The set includes 200 cards chronicling Bryant's decorated career, including rare autographs and game-worn memorabilia. As part of the tribute, Panini will conduct special promotions, including an opportunity for five lucky fans to meet Bryant face to face.
"Kobe Bryant has been a vital part of Panini America's DNA since entering the U.S. marketplace three years ago," said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO, about the company's Brand Ambassador. "He's one of the most visible faces of our company and a member of the Panini family. We're proud to honor him with Kobe Anthology, a massive undertaking that will serve as a key centerpiece for everything we do in the NBA this season."
Bryant was the first spokesman signed by Panini America when it entered the United States in 2009 after landing exclusive rights to produce NBA trading cards. Since then, Bryant has been featured prominently in all of Panini America's basketball initiatives, from launching the Panini Authentic division to appearing on the World's Largest Trading Card as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
"Working with Panini America has truly been rewarding for me, and to be featured prominently on their trading cards and packaging is an honor," Bryant said.
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, 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, 817-983-0325, [email protected]
SOURCE Panini America