LAS VEGAS — Panini America won a category-leading 10 Industry Summit Awards, presented Wednesday during closing ceremonies of the sports collectible industry’s annual trade conference.
Among Panini’s winning entries: “Card of the Year” for the Ezekiel Elliott #301a from 2016 Panini Contenders Football and “Product of the Year” for 2016 National Treasures Football. The awards ceremony, held at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, was sponsored by Amazon Sports Collectibles.
DJ Kazmierczak, Panini’s VP/Sales and Product Development, thanked industry retailers for awarding his company with over half of the 15 manufacturer-focused awards. Panini’s other winners:
– Best Basketball Product: 2015-16 Panini Prizm
– Best Football Product: 2016 National Treasures
– Best Autograph Card: National Treasures “Treasure Chest Signatures” No. 2, featuring signatures from 12 top NFL rookies.
– Best Memorabilia Card: Flawless Teammates Triple Relics No. 8, featuring swatches from Miller Huggins, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
– Best Global Sports Product: 2016 Panini Select Soccer
– Best Customer Service
– Best On-Going Promotion
– Best One-Day Promotion
“On behalf of our company, I’d like to thank Beckett Media and the attendees of the Industry Summit for this tremendous recognition,” Kazmierczak said. “We believe that our company embodies the spirit, creativity and passion that has always defined our great industry, and receiving recognition from our industry partners provides affirmation that the intellectual and emotional investment that each and every member of our organization makes truly matters. All during this Summit, we have heard that the industry is as financially healthy as it has been in some time and many of these award-winning products have been key sales drivers over the past year. We take our leadership role seriously and promise to remain good stewards of our proud industry.”
Two of Panini’s victories actually resulted from tie voting. Leaf Trading Cards shared the Customer Service Award; CEO Brian Gray thanked attendees, and quipped that he had “felt like Susan Lucci” before the customer service honors. Panini also shared Card of the Year with Upper Deck’s highly impactful Connor McDavid Young Guns Rookie Card from 2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey.
Topps won four awards, including Best Baseball Product (2016 Bowman Draft Baseball), Best Entertainment Product (Star Wars Masterworks), Best Pop Culture Product (2016 Allen & Ginter) and Best On-Demand Card (2016 Topps Now World Championship Bryant/Rizzo Dual Auto Relic.)
Upper Deck won Best Hockey Product (2015-16 Upper Deck) in addition to its McDavid Young Guns sharing top-card honors.
Southern Hobby Supply and GTS Distribution took top honors in the distribution category. Southern Hobby won the “Excellence in Logistics” award while GTS won “Excellence in Communication.” Also, Bryan Gavin from Ultimate Box Breaks was honored for category-best customer communication, while Glen Okazaki and Bryan Shigezawa from Honolulu-based AJTK Sports Cards were honored for excellence in hobby-shop communication.