Many people around the world have fond memories of collecting the iconic panini football stickers when younger – and some avid collectors never stopped.
Founded in 1961 by four brothers in Modena, northern Italy, the company making the stickers is still going strong. In fact yesterday it revealed a record one billion euro turnover for 2018.
The company, which the stickers are now “a passion for everyone, not just men,”owes its high turnover to the explosion in sales generated by the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The iconic image of footballer Carlo Parola (left) which became the company's logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
“The Panini Group will achieve a turnover of about one billion euros for 2018 thanks to the World Cup, almost double the 536 million euros achieved in 2017,” said Panini's Italian market director, Antonio Allegra, during the presentation of the new Italian league album in Milan.
Panini's financial figures fluctuate depending on the competitions played and normally take off during the World Cup. The 2018 Russia edition of the album included a record number of 682 stickers.
In 2014 they registered a turnover of 758 million euros.
A 1966 Panini sticker featuring player Fabio Capello. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo dominates the front page of 'Calciatori 2018-2019' ('Soccer Players 2018-2019') but the album also includes players from the Italian women's national team with the FIFA Women's World Cup taking place in France this year.
“The stickers are a passion for everyone, not just men, as shown by the number of active collectors who are about 1.5 million, including one million young people or children,” Allegra said.
“It's the album of women's football too, which has never been given so much space,” continued Allegra.
“We're already preparing the 60th edition, while from next year we will launch the Premier League album,” he added.
Stickers are sold in 120 countries and the group employs more than a thousand people worldwide.
This year's collection is already on sale at newsstands. A packet contains five stickers and costs approximately 70 Euro cents.