Colts QB Andrew Luck Becomes First NFLer To Sign Collectibles Deal With Panini
Panini America today announced that it has signed Colts QB Andrew Luck to an exclusive multiyear autograph and memorabilia agreement through its Panini Authentic division. Luck becomes the first NFLer to join Panini. The company’s roster of athletes also includes Lakers G Kobe Bryant, Clippers F Blake Griffin and Thunder F Kevin Durant (Panini). Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said his company “is not trying to build a huge memorabilia business, like a Steiner Sports, but noted synergies with the core trading card business.” Warsop: “With our marquee athletes, this allows us to control the value of their autographs, since they won’t be diluted by other parties.” In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes Luck has “already signed a number of Stanford and Colts photos, balls, helmets and mini-helmets” that will go on sale this week. Panini “will eventually offer game-worn items from Luck, who had previously signed non-exclusive trading-card agreements with Topps and Panini.” Luck’s other endorsements “are with Nike; Pepsi for Gatorade, Quaker Oatmeal and granola bars; and EA’s 'FIFA 13' game” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/15 issue).