Trading card manufacturers have generally avoided referencing card values or secondary market sales when promoting their products or initiatives. Panini America and the NFLPA are doing just that as their
exclusive licensing arrangement kicks in.
On Wednesday, the two entities unveiled the first NFLPA Trading Card Index, a new quarterly report which will rank the top-performing football players in the licensed trading card industry.
Although the specific calculation methods weren’t disclosed, Panini says the index will rank the top 15 rookies and top 15 veterans based on “several key factors, including secondary-market transactions, overall trading volume and collectability based on on-field performance and expectations (e.g., Rookie hype and collector speculation).”
The first index includes rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft class based largely on early trading activity surrounding Panini America’s 2016 collegiate product Contenders Draft Picks Football, which was released on March 23.
Top quarterback prospects Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) and Jared Goff (California), along with key running backs Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) and Derrick Henry (Alabama) claim the top four spots on the rookie Index. Meanwhile, the veteran Index (which includes 2015 rookies) sees seven of its top 10 slots occupied by quarterbacks as Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans), Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and Peyton Manning hold the top three spots.
The rankings only include cards produced by Panini America.
“The premiere NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index comes at the perfect time,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America’s Vice President of Marketing. “The rookie list reflects the level of excitement and speculation fans and collectors have for the key players in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. Conversely, the veteran list offers something of a recap of the 2015 NFL season based on trading-card performance and is driven by last season’s most impressive rookies and veteran superstars.”
According to Panini, some key sales driving the final rankings include a one-of-a-kind 2015 National Treasures Football Marcus Mariota NFL Shield autograph card that sold for $9,999, a 2000 Contenders Football Tom Brady autographed Rookie Card that sold for $7,900 and a 1998 Contenders Football Peyton Manning autographed Rookie Card that changed hands for $6,819.
“The new NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index is an excellent example of the creativity that Panini brings to the trading card market,” said Steve Scebelo, NFLPA Vice President of Licensing & Business Development. “It presents a singularly unique snapshot of players in all stages of their careers who have the ability to drive results on the field and at retail.”
The NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index will also be published in early July (capturing second quarter results following the 2016 NFLPA Rookie Premiere and heading into training camp) and early September (capturing third quarter results in a season-kickoff edition). Fourth quarter results will consist of two special editions in early November and early January to capture mid-season and end-of-season performances, respectively.
Below is the current index for rookies and veterans.
2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Rookies (1Q)
- Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
- Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
- Jared Goff, California
- Derrick Henry, Alabama
- Joey Bosa, Ohio State
- Paxton Lynch, Memphis
- Braxton Miller, Ohio State
- Connor Cook, Michigan State
- Laquon Treadwell, Mississippi
- Cardale Jones, Ohio State
- Kenyan Drake, Alabama
- Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
- Josh Doctson, Texas Christian
- Corey Coleman, Baylor
- Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
2016 NFLPA Panini Trading Card Index: Veterans (1Q)
- Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
- Tom Brady, New England
- Peyton Manning, Denver
- Todd Gurley, St. Louis/Los Angeles
- Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
- Cam Newton, Carolina
- Amari Cooper, Oakland
- Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
- Russell Wilson, Seattle
- Odell Beckham, Jr., New York (NFC)
- Devonta Freeman, Atlanta
- David Johnson, Arizona
- Tyler Lockett, Seattle
- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
Below is a live look at the current ‘most watched’ 2016 football card auctions on eBay.