Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Panini, Mavericks team up for memorabilia and marketing program
Posted May 3, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated May 3, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I’ve seen some interesting pairings in sports, like Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner, or Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson, or Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali.
But Mark Cuban and Tracy Hackler? Now, that takes the cake.
Cuban, of course, is the colorful and controversial owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Hackler is not quite as famous, as he is the jovial hobby marketing manager for Panini America. I am kidding about Tracy’s pairing with Cuban as a memorable sports duo. But I am guessing these guys’ paths may cross from time to time in the future.
That’s because on Thursday, Panini and the Mavericks signed a multiyear marketing and game-worn memorabilia agreement.
In addition to game-worn memorabilia, the 2011 NBA champions will work with Panini Authentic (http://www.paniniauthentic.com) to sell limited edition championship memorabilia from last season’s NBA Finals games (at the American Airlines Center) and promote Panini’s NBA trading cards. Panini, of course, is the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the NBA.
It’s the first team-focused deal for the Texas-based memorabilia company. Previously, Panini Authentic had worked exclusively with professional athletes from every major sport, including the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks’ game-worn jerseys, uniforms and Championship memorabilia will be available to collectors from Panini Authentic’s website.
“We were impressed with Panini Authentic’s commitment to authenticity and their ability to reach our most avid fans to deliver our game-worn memorabilia,” Cuban said in a news release.
Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said his company was “pleased” with its new partnership.
Panini should be pleased. It’s another move that further solidifies Panini’s partnership with the NBA. Panini’s NBA sets have been inventive, with some very bold designs. I’d have to guess the company would attack the memorabilia and authentication side of the hobby with equal enthusiasm.