As soon as Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Travon WalkerRoger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, called's name as the first pick of the NFL. Jacksonville JaguarsIn this year's NFL draftPanini, a trading card company, created an instant card featuring Walker's images.
Michigan Wolverines DE Aidan HutchinsonHe then walked across to accept his new position. Detroit Lionsjersey as the No. 2 pick in the draft, and posed with a photographer. Panini's website made the photo he took holding up his number one jersey, with his last name printed on it. Fans could order the physical card almost immediately and they were available within a month. This is also true for 30 NFL draft players. Anyone looking for cards that are associated with these players or their new NFL teams can find them on Panini's website.
These cards are technically rookie cards, as they have the new rookies in their NFL jerseys. These cards are not the kind of cards collectors want to chase after. They don't have the NFL jerseys worn by the players. They take time to make and, for Panini's, the process begins well before the draft starts.
Panini's product design team was looking at college football before any prospect knew where they would end up.
“If a man explodes on the scene or if he is a freshman, then we're going to be watching him until he comes down.” [of college]Jason Howarth, Panini vice president of marketing, stated that although he is eligible, the team pays attention to college football season so we can narrow down those players. “Then, we go through the entire draft process including the Senior Bowl, the combine, and finally the draft. That leads us to the players that we think are collectible. We will often make decisions about the collectible players based on our observations of college football.
The team compiles a list of 30-40 players that they believe will have an impact on the draft or be collectible.
Trading card industry quarterbacks and skill-position players will likely have the highest value. These positions are therefore weighted. Panini signs individual agreements with prospects that Panini believes will be among the top draft picks, just like it did with Hutchinson. Ohio State BuckeyesReceiver Garrett Wilson.
After the initial cards are created, the company anxiously waits for the draft to see which players will be chosen.
It doesn't matter what order they are in. The initial production will not include a player who drops from the initial list. A prospect may be selected earlier than expected. Chattanooga MocsLineman Cole StrangeTaken late in the first round of the New England PatriotsThe cardmaker will then attempt to add them to the initial set of cards.
Howarth explained that the NFL draft is “like Christmas for us” because we get to see where these players are heading and how they will spend the next few years of their NFL careers. We activated with 15 to 16 rookies, and the first card that comes out via Panini Instant is their draft night card. As we move forward, we will need to do a photo shoot with these guys.
Panini has to fly 40+ rookies to Los Angeles to meet them and do a multi-day photo shoot and autograph signing.
Rookie Premiere is an event that promotes rookies and provides a platform for business and marketing. The players will be signing up to 5,000 trading card on-site at the Rookie Premiere. These autographs will be mixed in to the new cards sets and made into chase cards. The more collectible autographs and jersey patch cards will be inserted into different sets as the rookie cards increase in collectability. The rookies will then go through a series photo shoots in their new NFL jerseys the next day.
Panini is a partner with the NFL and NFLPA in trading cards. It works with teams to get equipment and jerseys to ensure that the cards are produced with the right photos.
It is risky to invite around 40 players to sign individual contracts to get autographs for cards. The company does not know who will be the stars of the class or which cards will sell well. Panini may not have an autograph agreement with a player who has an unexpectedly great season.
The company can produce any player's card because it has group licenses from the NFL. However, without an individual contract with the player they cannot create the most sought-after autograph cards for the set they are producing. An autographed card is more valuable than a base or numbered card, so it's important to make sure you have signed contracts.
Howarth explained, “That's the reason we do 40 in our first photo shoot. Because there are guys on this list you might not have ever heard of or might not have known until Week four.” “There will be a man that comes out that wasn’t at the rookie shoot. We'll sign him up to a contract, and we'll get him in our products as soon possible.”
Due to supply chain problems, the production cycle for this year's rookie class was different than in previous years. The same cardboard stock that is used in trading cards is used in the free COVID-19 test. That pushed production back months. Despite the fact that the season is over, the Prizm football cards, which are highly-sought-after, have not been released yet.
Panini's decision on which players were included or excluded from chase cards and which players featured in parallels or variations of base cards was not affected. However, numbered cards indicate that only a certain number of cards were produced. However, it did allow fans to find out the results of the season as well as which rookies had been panned. Quarterback Trevor LawrenceHe was the Jaguars' first overall pick in the 2021 Draft. But, because of his performance during the year, the New England Patriots chose him to be their quarterback. Mac JonesIn fact, he was a much more sought-after QB card. Lawrence could have been the main prize, even if he didn't know these results.
This week will mark the beginning of the process for creating rookie cards for the 2022 draft class. Panini will conduct photo shoots, autograph signings, and begin the manufacturing process while maintaining their regular schedule.
Panini will release its Score line cards on July 11, which are typically lower-level products found in retail shops. On Aug. 1, Mosaic will release its Score line of cards. They are a more valuable collectible than Score and have higher resell prices. Certified will be released on Aug. 29. Donruss, featuring the “Downtowns” artistic cards, will be released Sept. 14. Prizm, another high-end retail product will be available in late November or earlyDecember.
These dates are rapidly approaching and players will begin the process of seeing their first cards next Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Howarth stated that the draft took place two weeks ago and that we could not predict where any of these players would land. Therefore, we have to wait until they are picked by an NFL team to begin producing our NFL rookie trading card sets. Three weeks after the draft, we will have our photo shoot. After that, we'll run through our produce release schedule for NFL Products and distribute our rookie cards to collectors.