Hours before Wednesday’s NBA Draft, Panini America announced exclusive trading card agreements with five projected first-round picks including the two prospects expected to be taken with the first two selections. Jahlil Okafor (Duke) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky) signed with the Dallas-based company that owns the NBA’s trading card license. They were joined in exclusive arrangements by Emmanuel Mudiay (China), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Jerian Grant (Notre Dame).
The new agreements grant Panini America exclusive rights to produce the players’ rookie cards, autographed cards and collegiate cards. The first rookies and autographs of the 2015 Draft class will arrive in the October release of Panini’s 2015-16 NBA Hoops product, which carries a $1.99 retail pack price point.
In addition to the five exclusive agreements, Panini America has also signed more than 50 additional NBA Draft prospects to trading card and autograph agreements for the 2015-16 season.
“The NBA Draft is always a key time for us at Panini America because it signifies the official start to a new season – and the grand introduction of the NBA’s next wave of superstars,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “Many of the players selected Thursday night – including the five newest exclusive members of the Panini America family – will be driving forces for our licensed trading card products for years to come; and that’s just as exciting for fans and collectors as it is for us.”