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Panini signs Robert Griffin III to auto, promo deal

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

He’s the Heisman Trophy winner, the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft and now he’s one of Panini America‘s biggest draws.

He’s Robert Griffin III, and he’s the latest top player to sign with the Texas-based sports card manufacturer.

The company announced on Tuesday that Griffin — who threw for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns last season for Baylor University — will be showcased as a Washington Redskin on cards autographed and on packaging of Panini’s products beginning with Prestige, which arrives in June. (Need a Robert Griffin III checklist or OPG? Click here.)

“Robert Griffin III is one of the most dynamic playmakers to emerge at the quarterback position in many years and his extensive presence in our 2012 products will only add excitement to arguably the greatest rookie class of the last decade,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “We’re thrilled to have Griffin in the Panini America family and we can’t wait to deliver his historic first licensed trading cards to fans and collectors around the world.”

The company also noted that the Heisman winner “will be featured exclusively on the company’s pioneering HRX Video Trading Card technology” as part of the deal.

“As a kid, you go to the stores and you buy the trading cards and to know that I’ll finally be on those cards legitimately is very cool,” Griffin said. “Not everybody gets that chance and I’m thankful that Panini America is making it possible for me. I’ll definitely savor it and just continue to build toward a better future.”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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