Panini America Inks Trading Card Deal with Projected No. 1 Overall Pick Geno Smith
NEW ORLEANS — Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced on Friday that it has reached an autograph and trading card agreement with former West Virginia superstar quarterback Geno Smith for the 2013 NFL season. The deal is Smith’s first officially licensed NFL and NFL PLAYERS trading card deal and will include Smith’s first licensed autographed trading cards.
It was a point Smith delivered again and again during a two-hour media tour on Friday that began at the ESPN compound in New Orleans’ Jackson Square and continued on Super Bowl XLVII’s famed Radio Row during interviews with the likes of SiriusXM, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NFL.com and many more.
Truth be told, though, Smith broke the news himself Friday morning with a simple yet profound Tweet:
Amped to announce partnership w/ @paniniamerica looking forward to my first rookie card!
— Eugene Geno Smith (@GenoSmith_12) February 1, 2013
In addition to talking about his first NFL trading card and April’s 2013 NFL Draft, Smith also spent quite a bit of airtime talking about his role in tomorrow’s Panini America Pop Warner Skills Clinic at the NFL Experience.
“Geno Smith is an incredibly talented young player blessed with the kind of otherworldly skill set that sports fans and football card collectors alike absolutely love,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “Our unique partnership with him will help us deliver the most sought after Rookie Cards and autographs of one of the most sought after players in the entire 2013 rookie class – all season long.”
During a spectacular four-year career at West Virginia, Smith passed for more than 11,000 yards and 98 touchdowns and earned First Team All Big-East honors in 2011 and the 2012 Orange Bowl MVP Award.
Smith’s first officially licensed trading cards will appear in Panini America’s 2013 Score Football product that is slated to release in May. In addition to trading cards, Smith will be featured on product packaging and in social media initiatives throughout the length of the agreement.
Below, you can check out a gallery of images from this morning’s whirlwind media tour. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for a special video recap of the event that also includes Smith busting a few packs of 2012 Prizm Football.