Behind the Scenes – Panini Spring Training Road Trip – Panini America’s Spring Training Road Trip landed in Phoenix, AZ for two days this March. It was a great way to help kick-off the baseball season and provided Panini a chance to preview and promote one of their hottest football products. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend both days of the event. I was able to get a first-hand look at how Panini interacts with athletes. In addition, I got an inside look at how a select group of breakers participate in these types of events by sharing their broadcasts and process with the players attending the event.
While the mercury in Arizona thermometers was setting record highs, the heat coming from a conference room in a Phoenix hotel easily matched the outdoor temperatures. During the first night of the event, Panini had invited baseball players currently in Arizona for Spring Training to the event. They were able to sign cards for and take part in a photo shoot for various upcoming product releases.
Behind the Scenes – Panini Spring Training Road Trip – Players
A number players, including Anthony Banda of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, Carson Fulmer of the Chicago White Sox and Jeimer Candelario of the Chicago Cubs also took the time to sit in with group breakers as they opened 2016 National Treasures Baseball for their audience in-between signing and photo sessions.
Every group breaker has a style, certain traits that they use when they open product that entertain and involve their audience. I thought the players each did unique things to interact with these audiences. From Carson Fulmer answering any and all questions thrown his way, to Josh Hader giving excellent commentary on the cards being shown and also helping the breaker sleeve and topload the hits once they had been pulled.
Jeimer Candelario was a bit nervous when he sat down, but he opened up once the questions came pouring in from the group break and our live audience on Periscope. There were a lot of big hits pulled in these breaks. However it was the veteran and retro hits that were the real stars. We saw low numbered cut autographs of Ted Williams and Willie Stargell surfacing for some lucky collectors. All in all, it was fascinating to see these future MLB stars interact with different groups of collectors in person and live on the internet all at once. Welcome to 2017! You can check out more photos here.
Behind the Scenes – Panini Spring Training Road Trip – NT Sneak Peek
The second day of the event gave group breakers the opportunity to open a limited number of cases of 2016 National Treasures Football. This was a full three days before the product’s official release date. With the 2016 NFL rookie class containing some highly collectable players, this is sure to be one of the hottest sets of the year. This preview break gave collectors a nice glimpse at what to expect from this year’s set. I was happy to see Ezekiel Elliot autographs live in boxes, along with Carson Wentz’s signature.
There were some big hits pulled, including a Carson Wentz booklet with an Eagle wing patch, a low numbered Dak Prescott autographed laundry tag redemption, a Drew Brees “Gridiron Graphs” booklet, and a Barry Sanders “HOF-2004” inscribed on-card autograph. I could go on, but those were the big highlights of the sneak peek preview. Be sure to check out the album on our Facebook page with many more hits from these breaks.
I want to thank GTS and Panini for letting me attend this event. It was a real treat to see all these processes in person. It gave me a greater appreciation for everything that goes into setting up and executing these events.
Behind the Scenes – Panini Spring Training Road Trip
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