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Panini America, Sports Legends Pack Punch During 2015 National VIP Party (Gallery)

August 3, 2015

Panini America 2015 National VIP Party Main

CHICAGO — On a postcard-perfect Saturday night at Chicago’s iconic Solider Field, in a horizontally sprawling suite tucked majestically behind the iconic structure’s trademark colonnades, Panini America’s fourth annual National VIP Party unfolded amid considerable pomp and circumstance as more than 250 special guests basked in the brilliance of a fantasy come to life.

Bolstered by some of the sports world’s biggest stars — including Baseball Hall of Famers (John Smoltz and Ryne Sandberg), a football legend (Ricky Williams), NBA royalty (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), basketball’s future (Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis) and a party-stealing appearance from the incomparable Mike Tyson, Panini America’s 2015 National VIP Party left attendees laughing, crying, starstruck (sometimes all at once) and thoroughly entertained.

It was Tyson who requested two chairs — one for him to sit in and one right next to him so that anyone who wanted to could pose for a picture with him. Seemingly everyone in the party wanted to. But when they weren’t mugging with Iron Mike or casually rubbing elbows with the other VIPs in attendance, Panini America’s most passionate customers and business partners were enjoying good food, good times, Gold Packs, Black Boxes and unforgettable camaraderie.

That point certainly was not lost on Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer who posted his thoughts on his Facebook page one day after the party. Indeed, on a night when fans and collectors enjoyed the rare opportunity to spend quality time rubbing elbows and exchanging stories with some of their sports heroes, those heroes did not disappoint.

Abdbul-Jabbar scored, Sandberg and Smoltz delivered Hall of Fame performances, Williams took the proverbial ball and ran, Parker and Portis impressed and Tyson delivered one knock-out memory after another. Luckily for us, renowned Chicago photographer John Gress was there to document the memorable night for Panini America.

In the gallery that follows we showcase some of Gress’ work. Enjoy the gallery and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for continued coverage of the 2015 National VIP Party, including a must-see highlight video featuring interviews with all of the VIP guests. Until then, here’s a look at the night in pictures.

For coverage of previous Panini National VIP Parties, check out these links:

Cleveland Rocked: Panini America, Big Stars, Make Magic at 2014 National VIP Party

Panini America VIP Party Steals the Show at 2013 National Convention (Gallery)

Night to Remember: Scenes from the Panini America 2012 National VIP Party

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2015 7:04 pm

    Tremendous coverage of this special event, congrats to those who were in attendance. Thanks Tracy!

  2. ericjoshua permalink
    August 4, 2015 8:35 pm

    That is super super awesome!
    Great shots of all the smiles! Hopefully next year we get the chance to go to Sir Tracy!!!
    See you in Atlantic City!

  3. August 5, 2015 9:24 am

    Now THIS would be the ultimate Panini experience. A VIP trip to hang out with you guys at next years show! Thanks for sharing all the pictures!

  4. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    August 9, 2015 5:36 am

    Great coverage! Keep up the great work!


  1. Panini America Offers Must-See Peek Inside the 2015 National VIP Party Gold Packs | The Official Panini America Blog
  2. Panini America Delivers Preliminary Details on 2016 National VIP Party in Atlantic City | The Official Panini America Blog
  3. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, NASCAR Star Chase Elliott to Appear at 2016 VIP Party | The Official Panini America Blog
  4. NBA Legends Scottie Pippen, Shawn Kemp Comfirmed for 2016 Panini VIP Party | The Official Panini America Blog
  5. Night to Remember: Must-See Images from Panini America’s 2016 National VIP Party | The Official Panini America Blog
  6. UT Longhorns Great Ricky Williams Joining Panini America Sunday at CFP Fan Central | The Official Panini America Blog
  7. The 2017 Panini VIP Party: What’s Inside the Packs and How You Can Get a Ticket | The Official Panini America Blog
  8. VIP Views: A Veteran and Rookie Talk About Panini America’s Biggest Night of the Year | The Official Panini America Blog

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