If there is one thing that hasnt happened forever in football, its the absence of draft pick autographs in products. Since the dawn of the new millennium, almost every single product has had some kind of autograph elements of the rookies of the league. In fact, most of the content is written into the licensing agreement reached by the league with the card companies. Yes, its now impossible to do it any other way if you want to stay licensed with the league.
This year, there has been issues with two specific top players and their inclusion in this available content. Cam Newton, the number one pick, and Mark Ingram, the top RB in the draft have both stalled with the licensed card companies, and only Topps has been able to work out a deal so far. With Prestige around the corner, hitting shelves shortly, it looks as if Panini will not have any Newton or Ingram autographs in the product, unless some miracle deal is worked out.
Its one thing if some later round pick doesnt sign, or someone unimportant, but to have the most important guy left out of your first and possibly future products? Its a kiss of death. Newton may want a ton for his signatures, but its one guy you have to have. Then when you add in that Ingram’s Alabama and New Orleans fan base will be hard pressed to buy your products too? Cmon. This is ludicrous.
Panini already has horrible design work and product content slowing them down, this could be extremely detrimental to the success of any of their products, crappy or not crappy. Collectors are notorious for buying anything with a player on it, but when that player isnt there, and he is the most valuable card you can pull at this point, they will go somewhere else. Panini better get off their ass and figure this out.