If you spent your Friday night sitting at home until late, you got the treat of Panini trying to bury the announcement of their statement at the end of the week. It was a treat because it might have been the most hilariously horrific end to this whole shit show that any Panini fan could hope for.
If you want the gist, they are going to replace the Prizm cards with a signed version that has a stamp on it. Not only that, but Prescott will have his deal extended and will continue to sign for Panini. Yes, this is what they said. Im not joking. They are giving him an extension after what happened.
Even more mind numbingly stupid:
- No one took responsibility in the statement
- Neither group apologized
- There is no “make good” other than fulfilling the card
- No explanation of what they are going to do to prevent this from happening again.
Word on the street is that the league got involved and would not allow Prescott to take the blame for the situation. Basically Panini had to take the heat, and rather than say nothing, both parties agreed to say they “have no knowledge of how those cards were returned to Panini.” Obviously, someone knows, and it only brings about more questions.
This is a disaster, only made worse by how terrible Panini is handling the aftermath. Clearly Prescott couldnt give a flying fuck about how this plays, because the national media is clearly laughing that this is even a story. Panini’s less than positive reputation in the hobby has been damaged further, and its without a doubt far from over.
Every autograph in every product will now be under a microscope – especially those from Panini. Signings completed without a company rep present will have new eyes hopefully cast upon them.
Similarly, Dak Prescott’s hobby value has been damaged as well. Although he is far from worthless and will continue to be a superstar, things have changed. Im curious to see how second year cards will perform, or what might happen if he doesnt have the success next year that he did in 2016. He may not have the leash that players like Andrew Luck were provided.
When you also consider how collectors feel they have been treated by Panini, its going to be interesting to see what Panini does to reclaim some of the people that were lost. Casual collectors who hadnt really been invested in the hobby might not be as easy to convert to larger spenders, and that could hurt long term.
In the end, this could not have been a worse face for the hobby, and Im actually upset that Panini was left to handle it, instead of one of the other companies. When you see the trend lately, something like this was bound to happen. I think of all the trading card companies out there, Panini was the least equipped to handle it with class and with an expert approach. They handled this like amateurs, and its unfortunate that the hobby will hurt as a result.
With Chicago’s National Convention in a couple weeks, there will be a TON of people looking for answers and even more people who will likely have a shorter temper when things go poorly in the future. Panini has fucked up so many times its not even funny, and I dont think they have the public patience to continue on the current trajectory they are on today.
Here is the worst part of all of this.
Because Panini owns the exclusive license for the NFL and NBA, there is no place for those collectors to go to speak with their wallets. If you collect football cards, you cant go to a licensed competitor to get cards you want. You are FORCED to buy Panini, and that is fucking horrendous. When shit like this goes down, we should have options to buy from other companies, but with exclusives in all four major sports, we have not been afforded that privilege.
Hopefully something gives out and we get more options, because I hate that I have no ability to show Panini how terrible they are treating their exclusive.
Here is the link to the statement: