As NFL experts speculated where college football’s most heralded player, former University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow would be selected in the 2010 NFL Draft in New York City, Panini America (www.paniniamerica.net), a subsidiary of The Panini Group, the leading global publisher of sports and entertainment collectables and an NFL/NFLPA licensee was prepared to print Tebow’s card coming out of the first round on April 22.
The first official NFL Rookie Card went into production hours after Tebow was drafted and is set to arrive in stores by mid-May in packs of Panini’s 2010 Prestige Football. The card will be one of the most coveted trading cards the industry and collectors have seen in years. Panini will also produce a limited edition version of Tebow’s Rookie Card featuring a shot from Draft night that will also be included in packs of 2010 Prestige Football.
“Being the special player and public figure that he is, Tebow being drafted in the first round makes him the bona fide No. 1 guy out of the gate, more collectible than Sam Bradford,” says Scott Prusha, Panini America’s marketing director. “People didn’t know where he was going to land and he landed in the first round on a very collectible team as the second quarterback taken. He’s going to be a collecting superstar.”
Popularity for the former Heisman Trophy winner has increased since Tebow’s individual workouts in March and continues to drive his card values. Now, after being selected with the 23rd pick in the first round by the Denver Broncos, Tebow’s card values have hit new heights.
According to Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly Pricing Director Joe Clemens, Tebow’s 2010 Press Pass Autos are currently priced in the $80-100 range.