Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectables company and the NBA’s exclusive trading card and sticker partner, has inked Los Angeles ClippersBlake Griffin to an exclusive multi-year agreement.
Griffin joins a growing roster of exclusive athletes that are part of the Panini family, including five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick of the Washington Wizards in the 2010 NBA Draft. Panini originally signed Griffin to an exclusive rookie deal for the 2009-10 season when Griffin was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, but Griffin’s season ended early due to injury.
“Panini America will forever hold a special place for me because it’s the company that helped make a dream come true by producing my first NBA trading cards,” Griffin said. “The opportunity to join the Panini family and work with a company that is at the forefront of innovation and has reinvigorated the trading card category is special.”
As part of the exclusive multi-year agreement, Griffin’s autographs and memorabilia will be found only in Panini products. He also will be featured on Panini products and packaging, as well as in Panini’s national advertising, marketing and social media initiatives.
Griffin and his Panini America teammates will be the faces of the company’s new Panini Authentic memorabilia division that launches next month. In addition, all four exclusive Panini athletes will be highlighted in the much-anticipated Panini HRX, video trading cards that have been in development for the last 18 months and are designed to bring collectors closer to the athletes with unique behind-the-scenes content and individualized footage.
“Blake has captured the imagination of millions of people across the world this season – fans and non-fans alike – and we saw him as a must-have player,” saidMark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. “His unique blend of athleticism, power and tenacity make him an unparalleled talent on the court. We’re thrilled to have him join our family.”