Just announced within the last couple of hours, Panini America has extended their exclusive deal as the sole company to provide NBA basketball cards to collectors out there in a new multi-year agreement.
Most of the responses on the Twitterverse have been positive, with several congratulatory messages to the only company to have a presence in all four major sports along with FIFA and several entertainment ventures. Even Kobe Bryant got in on the announcement where he stated, “[Panini] brings trading cards back to having a cool factor” and “Panini will be on the cutting edge of what they do.”
Personally as a collector, I’m not a huge fan of exclusive deals because I like the variety of products. I say the same thing when it comes to baseball cards. On a plus note, there are less rookie autographs out there so it helps with the value a bit. Did you see the Kyrie Irving autographs earlier this season on eBay? Wow. Or the Jeremy Lins last year? Two very good examples on how it shapes the market. As a business move, it’s a great move for Panini in securing those rights, so kudos on that. And with the expansion of products into China, Panini is moving into a strong Asian market for basketball collectibles.
Panini is here to stay in the NBA trading card arena. For more information on the deal visit their official blog.