Panini just announced they have secured a multi-year agreement with the MLBPA.
They have this preview image of a Hamilton card with a plain blue hat and nondescript jersey.
It’s not a full-on MLB release but it’s a sign that maybe things are moving. I like the design of the card, who doesn’t love a little wood grain on a baseball card. Just think how much cooler it would look with MLB logos. Come on MLB let’s get this done.
They mention an EEE set, I am curious to see what they do with the prospects. Topps has the MLB and Minor League contract and UD has the NCAA contract. They can use the city name like they have the last few years in EEE but I wonder what they will do with the photos? As long as they don’t go with the ’92 Bowman posed in street clothes look it should be OK.
Tracey Hackler just sent this along.
PANINI AMERICA SIGNS MULTI-YEAR TRADING CARD AGREEMENT WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
Leading trading card and memorabilia company adds professional baseball; Reigning AL Most Valuable Player Josh Hamilton to be first MLBPA player featured on future product packaging
IRVING, Texas/NEW YORK CITY (September 15, 2011) – Panini America (www.paniniamerica.net), the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, and Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today a multi-year trading card agreement. The deal secures Panini’s presence in America’s Pastime and adds to its U.S. sports license roster, making Panini the only trading card company in the world with licenses in all four of the U.S. major sports.
Panini will make its MLBPA-partnership debut with the December release of 2011 Elite Extra Edition, followed by 2011 Contenders Baseball, which will include the first Panini autographs of All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton. The reigning American League Most Valuable Player also will appear on packaging for future Panini products.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Panini. They have consistently developed innovative products that appeal to collectors of all ages both here in America and around the world,” said Evan Kaplan, Director, Licensing & Business Development for the Major League Baseball Players Association. “Panini’s MLBPA-licensed products will present Major League baseball players in a unique and exciting way.”
“The relationship with the MLBPA represents the culmination of a goal that we committed to when Panini entered the U.S. market just over two years ago, that of having a licensed presence in all four of the major sports in the U.S., and to utilize Panini’s creative approach to enhance the overall experience for collectors,” said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. “We are excited to join as a partner of the MLBPA and look forward to working with the MLBPA to continue to raise the visibility of their players and engage new collectors.”
Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures fully licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA 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 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION:
The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com ) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and the Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players.
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 NBA, NFL, NHL, FIFA, 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 http://www.paniniamerica.net, http://www.paninigroup.com or http://www.paniniamerica.wordpress.com. You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and on YouTube.