THE PANINI GROUP AGREES TO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH TENCENT FOR THE PANINI OFFICIAL 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ DIGITAL TRADING CARD H5 APP IN THE CHINESE MARKET

Modena, Italy (May 9, 2018) – The Panini Group, the exclusive and Official Branded Licensee of FIFA, for stickers and trading cards (physical/digital) is announcing that Tencent Sports will become a strategic partner of the group in People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The alliance of the two sports giants will bring great benefits to hundreds of millions of Soccer fans during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

The partnership between the Panini Group and Tencent Sports will provide platforms for Panini’s official “FIFA World Cup™ Trading H5 App” for all the Chinese fans to collect and trade cards and organise fan activities. As part of the agreement, Tencent Sports will become the sole operator and promoter of the Panini developed “FIFA World Cup Trading™ H5 App” in the countries listed above. Tencent Sports will also be responsible for sponsorship and advertising sales of the Chinese market specific product.  In addition, Tencent Sports will work with the Panini Group to explore ways to integrate physical products with digital products, and to provide better services and more exquisite collections to hundreds of millions of its users.

The Panini Group and Tencent Sports are expected to pursue more extensive and in-depth business partnerships and collaboration in the future designed to engage and deliver more benefits to the hundreds of millions of Chinese sports fans on the Tencent Sports platforms.  

A growing proportion of the Panini Group’s current sales comes from the Asian market, with a significant portion coming from China. At the same time, with the development of digital media, the Panini Group is also making continuous progress to integrate physical products with digital ones.  Since its launch in Europe and the America’s in March, the FIFA World Cup™ Trading App has had over two million downloads and is currently in the Worldwide Top 10 downloaded free Sports apps. With its forthcoming Chinese-language release the new Trading App is expected to further advance collectors’ experiences and create further links between the digital and physical products available.

In addition to the FIFA World Cup™, the Panini Group has also established in-depth partnerships with numerous sports and entertainment licensors including the NBA, NFL, UEFA, Marvel, DC Comics, etc.

Tencent has been the leading Internet company in China for many years. Tencent, QQ, together with WeChat have jointly built the largest Internet and social network in the Chinese society. At the same time, Tencent Sports has now become China’s No. 1 digital sports media platform.

ABOUT PANINI:
The Panini Group, established more than 50 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States.  Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles. Panini has distribution channels in more than 150 countries and employs a staff of over 1100. For more information visit us at www.paninigroup.com  or pwarsop@panini.it