Panini’s big break … new COMC hire … fun Twitter follow


** PANINI’s BIG BREAK: In one of its many engagement opportunities at this year’s National, Panini America has partnered with 9 leading group breakers for a series of live breaks from the Panini booth this weekend. It’s a well-crafted promotion, for at least two reasons: The breakers’ positive impact on the new-card business, and their ability to immediately connect Panini’s NSCC presence with an international audience. The featured breakers include: Blowout TV, STL Sports Cards, FIrehand Sports Cards, MojoBreak, Layton Sports Cards, Ultimate Box breaks, Kenfudd Sports Cards, Cardsmith Breaks and Midwest Breaks. Firehand – generally recognized as the initial driver of the group break phenomenon – will have two break opportunities (one Thursday, one Saturday).

** CHECK OUT MARK …: Long-time industry exec Mark Anderson debuts in his new seller-advocate role with today in Chicago. Anderson – well-respected during his decade-plus leading the Beckett grading business – is positioned to be key lynchpin as COMC looks to expand current sellers’ offerings and expand its client base, particularly within the high-end market served by grading companies.

** FOLLOW-WORTHY: In the weeks since leaving the trading card business and relocating to Chicago, former Topps VP/Sports Mark Sapir has been a compelling presence on Twitter. His commentary on products and promotions, and occasional engagement with industry insiders, is definitely worth a read. Check it out: @MarkSapir.