This year’s Industry Summit in Las Vegas has now come to an end, but one thing to take away from the event is the card companies were ready to make some news.
Before employees from Panini America stepped on stage to present its brand showcase- news had leaked, via blog post, that Stephen Strasburg had been signed to an exclusive autograph deal with Panini.
According to Panini, they will now have the exclusive rights to produce his autographed trading cards; the first of which being included in 2012 Prizm Baseball. He will be featured in his USA Baseball uniform in that set as Panini doesn’t have MLB license, but are exclusive partners with USA Baseball and still maintain MLBPA licenses.
Panini America CEO Mark Warsop says, ” His exclusive presence in our licensed MLBPA trading card releases in a huge development for us and will add even more excitement to our roster of products.” He continues, ” We’re honored that Stephen has entrusted us-exclusively- to represent and protect the integrity and collectibility of his autographed trading cards.”
Strasburg is the former first pick whose career and popularity still continue to grown even after Tommy John surgery and being pulled at the end of last season en route to the playoffs. His presence in upcoming baseball products from Panini is a major step in the right direction in creating more demand for non-license products.
It was also announced during the Industry Summit that Topps had locked its exclusive MLB properites deal until the year 2020. This led to some collectors being upset online, but Panini America is showing no signs of slowing down in the baseball market.