Panini America was on hand this past weekend participating in the 2009 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot, taking pictures and securing autographs for its first NBA trading card products set to release starting in October. Almost all of the first round draft picks were on hand, and some 35 rookies participated in the event.
"We were prepared, and that made the event run smoothly," says Ben Ecklar, Panini's director of product development. "We got all the material and signatures needed to produce the players' first Rookie Cards."
The players signed trading cards for programs such as Prestige, Panini Base Brand and even Rookies & Stars. Panini produced a 35-card "next day" trading card set for the players, taking the photos throughout the day on Saturday and giving them to the players Sunday morning. Each player signed a handful for inclusion in a future program, including Panini exclusives Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill, Brandon Jennings and Tyler Hansbrough.