John Wall signs memorabilia deal [UPDATED]
The John Wall brand continues to expand. Wall, the Wizards' No. 1 overall pick, signed an exclusive trading card and memorabilia deal with Panini America on Monday. Wall joins five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant as the only NBA players with exclusive memorabilia deals with the sports and entertainment collectibles company.
"We're ecstatic to be working with John," Panini America chief executive Mark Warsop said on Tuesday from the New York Knicks' practice facility, where NBA rookies took photos for the league and the card company. "With John being the No. 1 pick and the anticipation about how he's going to perform in the NBA, we thought it was fitting that we did a slightly larger deal with John this year. The fact that we've done a slightly larger deal, with memorabilia shows, we fully expect John to have a really good season and be a well establish player going forward. He's a great kid."
The one-year deal came together in the past 24 hours and was finally agreed upon as Wall participated in the rookie photo day at the New York Knicks training facility in Tarrytown. Panini will hold rights to Wall's autograph for both trading cards and memorabilia will use his image on packaging and in promotional appearances. Rookies Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson also signed autograph and promotional deals with Panini.
Wall signed a five-year, $25-million deal with Reebok in June. His first NBA cards will be included in Panini's 2010 Prestige product and arrive in late September. Panini, which became the NBA's exclusive trading card partner in 2009, also has deals with six members of the 2009 NBA draft class -- rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet.
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