Ultimate Case Break to debut at 2012 Industry Summit

‘Ultimate Case Break’ to debut at 2012 Summit

Panini America, GTS Distribution, Beckett, Ultra Pro, Cardboard Connection lend expertise to social media-driven event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAS VEGAS (March 7, 2012) – Trading card enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada can join in the fun as their Local Card Store owners participate in the industry’s first Ultimate Case Break at the 2012 Industry Summit, the annual trade conference for card and collectible professionals.

The Panini America/GTS Ultimate Case Break will highlight more than 100 local card store owners as they break an unrivaled cache of Panini America licensed product from the MLBPA, NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL and the NHLPA. Panini America’s Tracy Hackler and GTS Distribution (www.gtsdistribution.com) principals Lloyd Kee and Steve Snyder will serve as event co-hosts.

“Case breaks whether in-store or across social media platforms reinforce the sense of community that collecting and breaking product brings to the category. The Panini America/GTS Ultimate Case Break will reinforce the strength social media can have in getting collectors to participate and the ability to generate buzz for the category,” said Jason Howarth, Vice President of Marketing, Panini America.

As a “hobby exclusive’’ promotion, the Ultimate Case Break is available exclusively to Industry Summit registered attendees and their customers – and is designed to engage card and collectible enthusiasts throughout the 2012 Summit’s opening event (March 18, Las Vegas’ Orleans Hotel & Casino, www.regonline.com/2012summit).

As a direct result of this event, Panini America and GTS Distribution will generate scholarships resulting in 20 first-time attendees at the 2013 Industry Summit.

An activation overview:

As excitement for the Summit builds, Panini America and GTS will reveal the product lineup for each sport’s Ultimate Case Break. Retailers attending the Summit can register to win their favorite team’s cards, and GTS will provide retailers with tools to launch their own in-store case-break promotions. Look for an email from Industry Summit organizers with specifics on how to secure your spot in the event.
Panini America and GTS will allocate a spot in each sport’s “break’’ for collectors following online.
Panini America will partner with Cardboard Connection to provide two different live video streams during the event, and both will be actively covering the action via Facebook and Twitter.
The live case break will feature Summit attendees opening a $15,000 cache of just-released Panini America product, live from the Summit show floor. Our network of bloggers and social media activists, led by Panini America and Cardboard Connection, will provide timely updates via Twitter and Facebook, and collectors can watch their Local Hobby Store’s break live at: http://www.ustream.tv/user/PaniniAmerica and http://www.ustream.tv/user/CardboardConnection
Beckett Media will provide pricing analysis on every high-profile “pull,’’ and Beckett Grading Services will provide free grading and encapsulation to every Ultimate Break participant. In addition, UltraPRO International is providing card protectors to every Case Break participant.
“We are pleased that so many of our industry partners are excited about participating in our Ultimate Case Break,’’ said Lloyd Kee, GTS vice president. “It will be a great event for the industry – more than 100 retailers ripping through some incredible Panini America product, and actively engaging with their customers through social media sites in the process. We can’t wait!’’