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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Panini America: The Knight's Lance

Entered in Social Media Tool


The Knight's Lance, the official blog of Panini America, began in late 2010 inspired by the idea of creating an all-encompassing information vehicle for the world leader in licensed sports and entertainment collectibles -- and the definitive first word on all Panini America products, news, promotions and more. But the ambitious goal was always to create more than just a typical corporate blog.

Sure, we wanted to generate awareness of new products, press releases and announcements. But much more important to us was creating an engrossing, behind-the-scenes glimpse into seemingly every fascinating aspect of our vibrant business. To that end, we set out to provide virtually unprecedented access to our daily activities. How trading cards are made . . . player interviews . . . access to player signing sessions . . . contests . . . on-location looks from the largest events in professional sports including the Super Bowl, NBA All Star Game, NFL Draft, NBA Draft and so much more.

Using a straight-forward tone that is never too "salesy" or packed with "PR-flak, " the blog gained acceptance in the collecting community almost from the very beginning. Before long, thanks to a seemingly never-ending supply of unique content involving some of the biggest athletes in sports, The Knight's Lance gained acceptance in the mainstream media as well.

Strategy and Execution

The strategy for The Knight's Lance remains the same today as it was the day the blog launched in October of 2010: To educate, entertain, engage and inform the most loyal fans and customers of Panini America. It's the first word on Panini America's products, promotions and new releases -- but it's so much more than that.

It's behind-the-scenes videos on how trading cards are made . . . it's exclusive interviews with the athletes who make our cards come to life . . . it's contests that reward readers with free trading cards . . . it's breaking news on important company announcements . . . it's reader feedback that helps determine a future product . . . it's on-location at the Super Bowl or the NBA All-Star Game . . . it's mandatory daily reading for our business partners who want to maximize their opportunities with our products and get better educated on the more than 70 trading card products we release annually.

The Knight's Lance is all of those things and more -- on a daily basis. Most of our marketing messaging begins with a blog post that then enriches our efforts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. All of our social channels are prominently fed to The Knight's Lance homepage so that we're instantly reachable exactly where our customers are.

The Knight's Lance is not a convenient social media tool that we use because we feel we have to or that we update only when time allows. The Knight's Lance is our primary messaging vehicle that robustly supports all of our social media efforts. It's rare for even one day to pass without multiple blog posts. More than 3,100 industry insiders, fans and collectors receive an automatic email every time we post a blog. Those folks in turn share that information with their customers or use it to make their own buying decisions and often times it becomes the driving force for their businesses.

The Knight's Lance is a rare, powerful social media tool, rich with media, user feedback and information. It remains a vibrant and vital part of Panini America's consumer communications -- just as it was when the idea was conceived more than five years ago.


In short, the results have been phenomenal -- especially for a blog that documents the everyday activities of one trading card company. Since its inception in October of 2010, The Knight's Lance has generated more than 3,400 unique blog posts, more than 40 million views (from more than 105 countries) and more than 81,000 reader comments.

It is easily the most-read blog in the sports collecting community and is credited by industry experts for profoundly and positively impacting Panini America's overall sales, public image and reputation. The Knight's Lance is routinely sourced by mainstream sports sites such as Deadspin, ESPN, TMZ, Yahoo! Sports, the NFL, the NBA and more.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Panini America


Entry Credits