Jim Stefano Joins Panini America as Senior Director of Product Development
Panini America, the world’s largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced today that it has hired collectibles industry veteran Jim Stefano as its Senior Director of Product Development.
Stefano, a New Jersey native, has spent the last five years at Access Sports Media in New York, serving as that company’s Senior Director of Sports Partnerships. Prior to that, Stefano spent 10 years in the sports collectibles industry, including seven years at Fleer Skybox International as the Vice President of Product Development. He also served in stints at both Score Board and Tri Star Productions. While at Fleer Skybox, Stefano specialized in the areas of idea creation, innovation, execution and product content – expertise that will allow him to hit the ground running at Panini America.
“Joining Panini America represents a truly tremendous opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get started,” Stefano said. “With their global leadership position, their impressive arsenal of brands and a uniquely gifted team already in place, I can’t think of a better place to be. This is going to be exciting.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring in a professional of Jim’s caliber to lead our product development efforts,” said Martin Welling, Panini America’s Vice President of Operations. “This key acquisition instantly makes the strongest team in the industry even stronger.”
Panini America is the only company in the world that manufactures licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company also has exclusive relationships with USA Baseball, USA Basketball and the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team. In addition Panini also has relationships with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.