The Return: NBA Great Charles Barkley Inks Exclusive Pact with Panini America
Tuesday July 31, 2018
Chuck. Sir Charles. The Round Mound of Rebound. By any name, Charles Barkley is BACK! Panini America, the world’s largest licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company, and the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA, announced today that it has reached an exclusive autograph trading card and memorabilia partnership with the NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Famer. The news is significant (not “turrible”) for Panini America and the trading card industry, as Barkley has not been included on a trading card in more than 15 years.
“Adding Charles Barkley as an exclusive athlete is a significant achievement and will go down as a key milestone in our business since Panini entered the U.S. market and became the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA in 2009,” said Mark Warsop, Panini America CEO. “Since becoming the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA, Charles has been the athlete we pursued and viewed as the player we needed to be a part of the Panini family. His long absence from the trading card category has had fans clamoring and wondering if he would ever be featured on trading cards again. This is a great day for NBA fans and all collectors as we will now be able to celebrate Charles’ illustrious career on trading cards and memorabilia.”
Barkley’s first autographed NBA trading cards will be introduced as part of the Spotlight Signatures insert set in Panini’s 2017-18 Noir Basketball product; it celebrates his career with autographed trading cards featuring Barkley with the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. Barkley also appears on the Noir packaging which releases at hobby stores and on www.iCollectPanini.com nationwide tomorrow with an SRP of $500.
The partnership also goes much deeper than just trading cards as Barkley joins a select group of Panini-exclusive athletes (including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) who have exclusive autographed memorabilia and are anchor athletes for Panini’s memorabilia division: Panini Authentic. Memorabilia will include autographed basketballs, jerseys, prints and other memorabilia highlighting Barkley’s career from his Auburn Tigers days to his days as a member of the 1992 and 1996 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal “Dream Teams” through his Hall of Fame NBA career. Panini Authentic’s first wave of memorabilia is available now.
“Through the years, I’ve been approached to be a part of trading cards and autographed memorabilia -– but it never felt right. When I met the Panini team, they really understood my vision and highlighted how we could work together,” Barkley said. “It just reinforced to me that Panini was the ideal partner for me. What they have done in the trading card category and how the products have evolved since my playing days is incredible. I’m looking forward to working closely with them on my trading cards and autographed memorabilia.”
Barkley will be prominently featured in all of Panini’s 2018-19 NBA Basketball and Collegiate trading card products and beyond, showcasing his career with the Auburn Tigers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Team USA.
In the spectacular gallery below, we showcase Barkley’s first autographs in more than 15 years, including each of his 10 cards in the Spotlight Signatures insert from 2017-18 Noir Basketball and his first autographs for Panini Authentic. Enjoy the imagery and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for continued coverage.