Panini-CMG Deal Will Put Old Hall of Famers in Upcoming Products

Panini America has signed a trading card agreement with CMG Worldwide, giving it the right to utilize the names and images of a group of deceased baseball legends whose licensing rights belong to the agency.

The deal, effective immediately, gives Panini America rights to incorporate cards featuring Shoeless Joe Jackson, Jim Thorpe, Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Roy Campanella, Thurman Munson, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson into its products.   That list of players will be incorporated into several of Panini America’s future baseball card sets, beginning with 2011 Panini Prime Cuts available in March.   During the last decade, Prime Cuts was a popular brand for Donruss, the predecessor to Panini.

Panini does not currently have a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball, which prohibits it from using team logos and trademarks, but the company does have a deal with the MLB Players Association.   It’s likely they have retained a stash of game-worn and game-used memorabilia featuring some of CMG’s Hall of Famers and will utilize it in the upcoming products.

“We are truly excited to partner with CMG Worldwide on a deal that will significantly strengthen our baseball product roster by giving us access to some of the greatest players in baseball history,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “Utilizing our unrivaled expertise in the areas of innovation and collectibility, we’ll show these all-time greats to fans and collectors in a whole new light.”

Added Phillip Korkis, CMG Worldwide’s Director of Sports Licensing & Legal Counsel: “We have the pleasure of representing some of the greatest players in baseball history – it was a natural fit to work with one of the global leaders in the trading card industry, Panini America. Panini has an innovative and exciting product vision and we are looking forward to having our clients be a part of that.”