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 snares license agreement for USA Baseball
Posted Mar 19, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
It’s starting to become a banner year for Panini America. In fact, don’t blame them for waving the flag—you know, the red, white and blue kind.
Panini announced that it reached an exclusive, multiyear trading card agreement with USA Baseball, beginning with the 2012 season. It’s the third big baseball licensing announcement for Panini since September. The Texas-based company already secured licenses with the Major League Baseball Players Association in September and the Baseball Hall of Fame in February.
So even though Panini cannot use the team logos and names of current major league teams on their cards, they certainly have dibs on the Hall of Famers—and now, on the up-and-coming players on the U.S. national baseball teams.
Topps had held the exclusive license on USA Baseball since 2010, but the ball is now in Panini’s wheelhouse.
The deal grants Panini exclusive trading card category rights to all USA Baseball marks as well as the annual Collegiate, 18U and 15U national teams.
Panini will debut its college national team in October in the 2012 Prime Cuts set, while members of the 18-and-under and 15-and-under teams will appear in December’s release of the 2012 Donruss Elite Extra Edition. The products will include autographs as well as memorabilia cards.
In addition, the 2012 USA Baseball box set will hit stores in November as a hobby-only product, with all 62 members of the 2012 USA Baseball squad featured.
As a preview, included is a card mock-up of outfielder Hunter Mercado-Hood.
Looks like it is going to be an exciting autumn for Panini and fans of rising baseball stars.