Kevin Durant and Panini America will up the ante on their relationship, one that will include the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar providing input on products. According to Panini, the deal includes trading card, autograph, marketing and business development aspects.
As part of the agreement, Durant will serve as “a global NBA spokesman for the company” and Panini will soon debut online and TV ads featuring Durant. Panini says Durant will also offer his ideas on trading cards and product development for his own Panini Authentic memorabilia products.
Commercials featuring Durant will air on networks whose programming is focused on youngsters, including Cartoon Network, Disney XD and Nickelodeon. Panini’s first TV campaign featuring Durant includes an extended version that will be integrated across digital/social platforms and can be seen below. The spot features a young Panini NBA trading card collector whose Kevin Durant trading cards come to life as the young fan calls out plays.
“Kevin Durant is one of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world but he transcends the game of basketball,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO. “The way he carries himself on and off the court is as inspirational to us as it is to millions of fans throughout the world. We’re proud to be entering this new exclusive relationship with Kevin and the Panini family and look forward to a bright future with him. He’s meant so much to our company, our products and our brand and we’re excited to expand that relationship through both Kevin’s business sense and his fan base.”
As part of the agreement, Durant autographs will appear in Panini’s NBA trading card products and will be part of product packaging for both hobby and mass retail basketball card boxes.
“I’ve been proud to work with Panini for the past five years,” said Kevin Durant. “They’ve been a great partner in terms of overall support and creativity, and I’m really looking forward to expanding my role with our new commercial and by working with their product development team for years to come.”
“We are really excited about this partnership and this new creative direction. Kevin loves playing the game of basketball as much as our NBA collectors love watching him play and collecting his cards. We thought what’s better than bringing the two together and bringing our Panini NBA trading cards to life in the the way so many kids get excited when they open up a pack of cards and find Kevin Durant? We’re looking forward to more great product and marketing collaborations with KD in the future,” said Jason Howarth, Vice President of Marketing.
Durant has already been featured on Target exclusive trading card boxes and will appear on the packaging for Panini’s Donruss brand, a Walmart exclusive product for the 2015-16 season which is set to release in advance of the 2016 NBA All-Star Game next month.
You can get a look at the current most watched Kevin Durant trading cards below.