ARLINGTON, Texas (August 2, 2010) - Panini America ( www.paniniamerica.net ), a subsidiary of The Panini Group, the leading global publisher of sports and entertainment collectables, announced today an exclusive, multi-year marketing and licensing agreement with the Pro Football Hall of Fame that names Panini as the Exclusive Trading Card Partner. As part of the relationship, Panini will be the presenting partner of three autograph sessions that will take place during the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in August.
The autograph sessions will include signings by the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of Enshrinees - Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. In addition there will be a separate individual session featuring Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith and a third session that will include members of the 2010 Class and returning Hall of Famers such as - Steve Young, Warren Moon, Bruce Smith, Bob Griese, Roger Staubach, Eric Dickerson, Joe Greene, Tony Dorsett and Dick Butkus. A limited number of tickets are currently on sale for these sessions by calling 800-913-9788.
"We are pleased to announce our exclusive partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in advance of a great Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival," said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. "We look forward to working with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and establishing links to the NFL players of the past that made the popularity of the NFL what it is today."
A special Pro Football Hall of Fame trading card set will also be available for purchase in August in conjunction with the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. The set will include limited edition, autographed cards featuring Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.
Additional highlights of the Pro Football Hall of Fame agreement include:
"We are very excited to partner with Panini to help fulfill our mission to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football and promote the positive values of the sport," said Steve Strawbridge, Vice President of Licensing and Merchandising at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "We look forward to working with Panini to produce trading cards which will help educate the public regarding the origin, development and growth of professional football, while focusing on the very exclusive group of Pro Football Hall of Famers".
The Pro Football Hall of Fame relationship is Panini's second exclusive relationship with a Hall of Fame; the first was established with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2009.
As the leading global publisher of sports and entertainment collectables, Panini has license agreements with three of the major U.S. sports, including the NFL/NFLPA, NHL/NHLPA and an Exclusive Trading Card and Sticker Partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). Panini's other partnerships include an exclusive license with FIFA for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and with four-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. Panini also has a successful collectibles business with consumer brands including DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon, Disney's Toy Story 3, Hannah Montana and High School Musical, and Warner Brothers' Harry Potter.