Just seconds after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced during the 2015 NFL Draft that the Jacksonville Jaguars had selected linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. with the third overall pick, the first thing the former Florida Gator did was make his way down to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre stage, stopping en route to slip on his official New Era Jaguars Draft Hat.
Perhaps unbeknownst to most folks watching the draft that night, Fowler’s hat was equipped with a hidden New Era Cap Cam that documented his special moment from a most unique perspective. Eventually, that very hat — along with all the others worn on stage during the NFL Draft — made its way back to Panini America HQ (hey, being the Official Trading Card Manufacturer of the NFL Draft has its advantages).
ROSEMONT, Ill. — Enter the show floor at the 36th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., and it won’t be hard to spot Panini America’s presence off in the distance.
Find the four pillars bearing photos featuring the likes of Andrew Luck, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant and you’ll know you’ve arrived at Panini’s playground for the next five days. From the coveted shiny silver redemption packs to the VIP table to a wide range of must-see Panini Authentic memorabilia, it’s no wonder collectors flocked to be part of the fun during Wednesday’s sneak peek night.
The highly anticipated 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention will open its doors later this afternoon for a special sneak peek engagement to kick off the annual five-day extravaganza that celebrates the best and brightest the sports collectibles industry has to offer. Once again this year, Panini America plans to steal the show with a flurry of must-see activities inside the company’s engaging, energetic and marquee-attraction of a centerpiece booth.
Although much of the excitement at this year’s show will revolve around the company’s always-epic wrapper-redemption program, Panini America officials have created a jam-packed National schedule that promises to keep the Windy City rocking well into Sunday night. You can check out all the details in this post and also in this one.
Bolstered by the regal return of Diamond Kings Baseball as a standalone brand earlier this year after more than a decade away, Panini America officials recently announced that the art-card renaissance is crossing over to the NFL, too. In early October, the fabled Gridiron Kings Football makes its resounding comeback as a standalone brand for the first time since 2003, and it will exhibit the unique artistic flair that has drawn critical acclaim in years past.
Each 12-pack hobby box of 2015 Gridiron Kings Football will deliver one autograph, one memorabilia card, one Blue Frame base card, seven Rookie Cards, three Red Frame Rookie Cards, one Blue Frame Rookie Card, one Red Frame Limited Lithos, two All-Time Stat Kings, one Red Frame All-Time Stat Kings and five additional inserts or parallels.
Although Panini America’s 2015 Clear Vision Football continues to contribute to the summer heatwave in hobby shops across North America, company officials are on the verge of fanning the football-card flames yet again on Wednesday. That’s when 2015 Prestige Football arrives, equipped with new versions of the popular brand staples that have made Prestige an early season fan favorite for the better part of the last decade.
This year, each hobby box of 2015 Prestige Football will deliver three autographs, one Rookie Jumbo Patch and one Jumbo Draft Picks box-topper. Once again this season, the 2015 Prestige Football lineup features an enticing ensemble of acetate, micro-etching and the colorful chases inherent in the brand’s popular Extra Points parallels.
You just think you’ve seen everything we have in store for the Panini America wrapper-redemption program coming to this week’s 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention. You’ve seen the base set. You’ve seen the base inserts. You’ve seen the memorabilia cards. You’ve seen the autographs. You’ve seen the special additions. What you haven’t seen, though, is the stunning ensemble of prime-memorabilia cards randomly inserted into those blissful silver-foil packs. We’re about to change that.
In the gallery that follows, we bring you a drool-deserving batch of the prime-memorabilia parallels showcased in this year’s set. The Cracked Ices out of 25. The Gold Pack-exclusive Pyramids out of 10. The hysteria-inducing HyperPlaid 1/1s. And the unique player-worn and player-touched memorabilia within those collection-makers — jersey buttons, hat pieces, laundry tags, filthy-prime towel pieces and more — has created some of the most compelling trading cards of the season. And they’ll be available beginning Wednesday afternoon in the Panini America booth on the floor of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.