IRVING, Texas – Panini America, the world’s largest licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company, has announced a multi-year agreement with 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano.
As part of the deal, Logano will serve a major role in all of Panini America’s NASCAR trading cards, including appearing on packaging and helping to develop new ideas, as well as promoting the brand through promotional appearances, social media and content creation.
The ambassadorial role is one that Logano previously filled for the company last year and will be expanded in 2020.
“For me, anytime you partner with any company, you want it to be authentic. That’s the most important piece. It needs to be true to who you are and who your brand is, and when I think of Panini, it fits perfectly for me,” Logano told SPEED SPORT. “It’s something that as a kid, when I first started watching racing, I started to collect trading cards and used that as my way of learning about the sport and learning the drivers.
“As I grew up, I continued to collect them, and even to this day, I still enjoy seeing the new ones and collecting them. Now, seeing my son (Hudson), who is two and a half and has started to enjoy seeing them around and looking at them and learning about the sport … it’s cool to me to see that process that I went through growing up start to happen again,” Logano continued. “That relationship that I’ve had with trading cards is authentic, and seeing what Panini has been able to do with bringing it to the next level when it comes to trading cards is unique and really neat for me to see.
“It’s something really easy for me to get behind and easy for me to promote something I’ve really liked.”
Of note, Logano will be the featured driver on Panini’s Prizm trading card brand when the 2020 Prizm Racing set is released in September.
“Our first year with Joey and his team was tremendous,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. “He’s one of the biggest stars in the sport and is so easy to work with. With the sport having now restarted during this pandemic, we are excited to work with Joey to engage racing fans to highlight our NASCAR trading cards. We all look forward to the future when racing fans can return to the track and be a part of those unique driver interactions.”
Logano was quick to note the continued importance and longevity of trading cards in the NASCAR merchandise arena, as well as the NASCAR fandom, as a way to connect to one’s favorite driver.
“When you think about how long trading cards have been around, and you think of baseball cards or things like that, they’ve been around for so long and people value them,” Logano explained. “I think that’s a lot of what has made people continue to buy them and look for them and trade them, is because people see value and they like showing that off to their friends or other people that are very passionate about these types of things. I think that’s a reason why the trading card industry has continued to just go along for so long, within sports in general.
“In the NASCAR community, I think it’s the perfect fit. When you think about how accessible our drivers are during the typical race weekend – obviously things are different right now with the COVID restrictions – but typically when you have a normal race weekend, it’s easy to find your favorite driver at an appearance somewhere, or at the racetrack, because it’s different than other sports,” he added. “From that standpoint, Panini has really figured that out and put a lot into what this is all about.”
One of the key opportunities for fans to be involved when they can return to the track will be Panini America’s NASCAR VIP Experience in-pack sweepstakes. One lucky collector will earn the chance to go behind the scenes at the Daytona 500 with Logano.
Fans can enter the Panini NASCAR VIP Experience in Daytona by purchasing Panini NASCAR trading cards, available at retailers including Walmart and Target, online at www.paniniamerica.net or at hobby shops nationwide.
“It’s a great program. It’s something we did last year and were able to bring some race fans to the Daytona 500 and give them a behind the scenes experience of what racing is,” Logano reflected. “It’s an experience that really no race fan gets to see, where you pull the curtain back, and I had as much fun meeting one particular individual … because I’d never met someone so passionate about trading cards in my life. He had so many of them; he was talking about how he’s making deals on the way to the airport and from the race track to the airport. He was constantly searching and looking.
“That, for me, was where I think I had as much fun as anybody showing him around. I may have asked him more questions that he asked me, because I had a lot, but it was a really fun and unique experience I think for both of us. I can’t wait to see who the next winner is and it’s definitely something neat.”