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Mavs star Luka Doncic signs exclusive deal with Panini America

Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Panini

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is getting into the trading card game.

Panini America, the exclusive trading card manufacturer of the NBA, announced Thursday it struck an exclusive deal with Doncic for autographs and memorabilia.

The Mavs star said his experience with Panini dates back to his days as a youth:

“As a kid growing up in Europe, Panini stickers were a big part of my childhood so to be able to partner with Panini America even before I was drafted was really exciting to me,” Doncic said, via BasketballNews.com. “I’m proud now to be able to strengthen our relationship and build a close connection with fans and collectors.  There is so much going on in the collectibles space and I’m happy to be with them.”

The partnership will afford Panini America to auction off Doncic’s autographed memorabilia. Luka had already been a driving force behind Panini’s growth in recent years. Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said he was thrilled to have Doncic join the company’s ranks of exclusive athletes:

“We’ve had a front-row seat here in the Dallas area and have watched in amazement as Luka’s style of play has made him one of the NBA’s most popular players around the world, and we knew he was going to be a major factor in attracting new collectors to the NBA trading card hobby,” Warsop said, via BasketballNews.com. “But he’s just getting started and we’re proud to welcome him to the rich fraternity of Panini America exclusive athletes. This partnership is going to be something special.”

Panini has always operated with a global audience in mind. Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura–the first Japanese player ever selected in the first round of the NBA draft–also maintains an exclusive relationship with Panini America.

Doncic is arguably the biggest international star in the NBA. Orchestrating a deal with the Mavs star only made sense for Panini America, especially since his cards have been a hit since his rookie season.