Panini appoints product development directors

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Panini America announced on Friday that it has restructured its product development department.

Karvin Cheung (NHL), Ben Ecklar (NFL) and David Porter (NBA) will now be in product development director positions for their respective sports. They will report to Martin Welling, the VP of Operations.

“Since I arrived at Panini America last December, my primary mission has been to push all of our trading card releases to new levels of excellence in terms of aesthetics and value,” Welling said. “We’ve experienced great success in these areas so far and these new appointments will only help as we continue to raise the bar. In addition, these refined roles will aid us in our continued emphasis on meeting original ship dates.”

The move places a single person overseeing each sport’s product lines vs. the company having a director for two sports.

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


  1. Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen improvements each year since Panini took over the old Donruss/Playoff brand. This years products have taken a huge jump up the improvement ladder. I look forward to future Panini products.

  2. Kingbudd
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Panini will finally turn around the basketball market. Since taking control in 2009, Panini has destroyed the basketball market. With lackluster products and an absent year (2011-12) most collectors are hoping that Upper Deck gets a contract with the NBA next year. As you could tell by the release of UD Retro, the basketball collectors went nuts for the product; why? Because, Panini has failed, their products are repeats year after year and the level of customer service is horrible.

  3. Hscshooter
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry but I agree with Kingbudd. When Panini first arrived Customer Service was second to none. Soon after getting collectors on board their customer service has degraded almost to the level of Upper Deck which doesn’t say a lot. Painini still has a huge redemption problem. The best is when I contacted them about a certain card I have been waiting for over a year and this customer service person told me “it’s not up to the player but the player’s agent to set up a signing session” . Wow, really you pay the player to sign for you and the agent in in control. Nice job Panini. Growing a set and get these overpaid athletes to do their job. Now that hockey is in lockout mode I will never see two high cards I’m supposed to get.

  4. Scott
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Please bring UD, or really any competition, back to Basketball!

  5. Matt Gilman
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Listen up kiddies – UD is not getting a major sports league license anytime soon. They ruined their chances with their shady, unethical and downright illegal actions behind the scenes. Wish all you want – it ain’t happening.

    Panini is doing great with basketball. Most products are selling out at the factory, and that’s all that matters. There was nothing they could legally do last year with the lockout. It wasn’t their fault.

    Keep up the great work, Panini.

  6. Kingbudd
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    @Matt Gillman, obviously you don’t know what you are talking about or you don’t collect Basketball. The products coming out of Panini are NOT selling. With Panini’s MAPP pricing products are sitting on shelves at your local lcs or Walmart longer because no one wants to but garbage at that price. Even if the lockout forced Panini’s hand last year maybe they should have worked on creating a better product this year. Hoops, Prestige, and now Treads all look the same, low-end garbage that no one wants. So you can say whatever you like, but Panini is not getting anything done. They are ruining the hobby!

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