NFL Rookies Back In Person To Learn Football Business, Connect With Partners at 28th Annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere Presented By Panini America

– NFLPA will host 42 rookies in Los Angeles for their first major business event, highlighted by brand content studios, Fanatics jersey reveal moment, and Panini America trading card photo shoot in official team uniforms –




May 16, 2022 – Following two years of virtual engagement, 42 top rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft will again gather in Los Angeles on May 19-21 to learn the business of football and jumpstart endorsement careers at the 28th annual NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Rookie Premiere presented by Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of the NFLPA. Hosted by the NFLPA and its marketing and licensing arm, NFL Players Inc., the annual event for many of the game’s marketable rookie stars will feature the unveiling of each rookie’s official jersey presented by Fanatics and Saturday's all-day live action and studio shoot for Panini trading cards.

Over 20 NFLPA business partners will engage with the promising stars in innovative ways to create content for upcoming campaigns, marketing activations and player-identified products as well as showcase goods and services throughout the multi-day event. This year’s lineup is headlined by presenting sponsor, Panini America, followed by Fanatics, Dapper Labs, EA Sports, and StatusPro. Additionally, select brand partners will be providing products and services including Sleep Number, élevée, FedEx, Outerstuff, Oakley, On the Mark, Funko, Rock ‘Em Socks, The Inactive Company, The Original Retro Brand, American Roots, 500 Level, Fathead, Anheuser-Busch and Gatorade.

“NFLPA Rookie Premiere is an opportunity for partners to engage with tomorrow’s most influential athletes, and we are thrilled to be back in person to help facilitate those introductions and experiences,” said Steve Scebelo, President, NFL Players Inc. “For the first time as professionals and following in the footsteps of players like Russell Wilson, Saquon Barkley and Cooper Kupp, this year's class will also learn about the business from union leadership as they plan beyond playing careers and strengthen bonds for future success.”

“We’re excited to be back in person for the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. The event is a vital component for us and the trading card community as whole, as it gives us the ability to capture the top rookies in their uniforms for the first time for their Panini Rookie trading cards in and as they sign their autograph trading cards.” said Jason Howarth, VP, Marketing, Panini America. “Following the Draft, we submit our list of who we view as the 40+ most collectable players to participate in the Rookie Photo Shoot and it sets the stage for our NFL/NFLPA trading card products for the year.”

Among the rookies expected to participate are (based on draft order): Travon Walker, Aidan Hutchinson, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Kyle Hamilton, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis and Matt Corral. For a complete roster click here.

Players are selected primarily by Panini America based on position, college performance, draft status and projected overall demand and marketability. All these factors impact trading card value, even before they have played a single down. The rookie cards and autographs from this year’s class will be featured throughout Panini’s 2022 NFL trading card portfolio. Each rookie is unique and among the most talented in their profession, no matter their position on the field or in the Draft. That is the attraction of Rookie Premiere – for every high draft pick like Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Allen or Joe Burrow, there are dozens of hidden gems, like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Dak Prescott and Hunter Renfrow.

Launched in Los Angeles in 1994, NFLPA Rookie Premiere is a pioneering event in sports, serving as the first major business and marketing event for players since becoming professionals and providing partners with unparalleled early access to the game’s marketable new stars. Rookies gain valuable insights and connections that will assist in the development of their brands and careers on and off the field. Players will go through orientation highlighting the union’s programs and services and hear from past participants. The event also generates numerous business opportunities for current and former players.

Media and fans can follow @NFLPA via #RookiePremiere and #RatedRookie for updates, exclusive photos, video and news throughout the event.


About the NFL Players Association

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 season.

About NFL Players Inc.

NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, connects businesses to the power of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. creates customized business solutions for partners, through licensing, marketing strategy, and player activations. For more information, please visit

The Panini Group, established 60 years ago in Modena, Italy, has subsidiaries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. Panini is the world leader in officially licensed collectibles and is the most significant publisher of collectibles in the U.S., with official licenses for NFL, NFLPA, NBA, NBPA, FIFA, UFC, MLBPA, NASCAR, College, Disney, Epic Games and other key properties from many other licensors. Panini is also the exclusive trading card and sticker partner of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. Panini has distribution channels in more than 150 countries and employs a staff of over 1,200. For more information visit us at, or You can also follow Panini America on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Media Contacts:
Jenna Sobray, NFLPA,

David Cooper, MVP PR,