Leaked: 2020 Select Football Retail Hits Shelves

February 10, 2021

The original release for Panini Select NFL Football was in 2013, and it has been a popular annual product for hobbyists ever since. So far it has been a hobby-only release. However, rumors abound that it may be released in a retail format. We ask will 2020 Select Football Retail hit the shelves?

April 15,2021 Update: This is proving to be true, Select Football 2020 packs are being spotted at Targets:

(Picture taken from Twitter).

The original release for Panini Select NFL Football was in 2013, and it has been a popular annual product for hobbyists ever since.

To many collectors, Select is in the same category as Prizm and Optic. In other words, they view it as one of the most desirable card sets.

The parallels between Select, Prizm, and Optic are unmistakable: the chromium-style card with colored inserts and parallels deliver tiers of variation and visual appeal that collectors drool over.

The major difference between the three products is that, historically, Prizm and Optic have released in retail editions as well, while Select has been hobby-only.

But this year… something is different.

According to a leak from an inside source, 2020 Select Football will be releasing in RETAIL format, potentially changing the brand forever.

READ: 2021 Select Football checklist, basics, rookies and more

What To Expect From 2020 Select Football Release

Looking back, Select football usually releases in mid-to-late-February. However, this year is different because of the pandemic.

Because of COVID-19, most of the releases have been delayed by a couple of months. For example, 2019 Optic hit shelves on December 20, 2019, and 2020 Optic released February 10, 2021—almost two full months behind its typical release.

With this in mind, if the Select release sees a similar delay, it could be late March or early April before the cards ever come out, well into the offseason.

The 2020 Select Retail Release Evidence

Because of the delay, Panini has been tight-lipped on the matter. A simple Google search for the brand doesn’t yield any useful information yet.

But a recent leak suggests that when it does release, Select Football will be more than hobby-only for the first time.

The leak in question is a “bombshell” picture of 2020 Select Football. An MJ Holding employee released a picture including an official-looking notice referring to a “delay on Panini Item.”

Two things make the leak significant.

For one, the product release date appears for the first time on any communication from Panini. It reads, “items may not arrive in stores until 3/24/2021.”

But, even more noteworthy, the product description on the release is not for a hobby box, but rather hanger, value, and mega boxes of 2020 Select Football, which appears to feature Patrick Mahomes on the boxes.

The prices are covered up in the picture, but you can judge the evidence for yourself right here.

On top of the flyer leaking, there is actually more precedence for the football to release in retail… In 2020, Select Baseball released retail-only as well, and the football version is significantly more popular because it is a licensed product.

Market Impact Of A Retail Release Of 2020 Select Football

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the leak is reliable. If so, what are the potential repercussions?

It seems the decision could go one of two ways.

Cons For A 2020 Select NFL Retail Release

The first possibility is that the more widespread release waters down the value of the product. A higher print run will lower the value of the product.

That said, there is evidence that this will probably not be the case. For one, Prizm football has not suffered this issue in 2020. Instead, there are multiple rookies demanding three figures for the common base card.

Panini has also safeguarded against this. It has kept many parallels hobby-exclusive. In the meantime,  Panini added unique retail SSPs to give collectors a reason to chase both. The same would be likely for a Select retail spinoff.

Pros For A 2020 Select NFL Retail Release

The other alternative is a favorable one, and also more likely.

It’s fair to say Select is the third most popular product behind Prizm and Optic, but a lot of this might have to do with accessibility. For collectors not looking to fork over the hefty price of a hobby box, Prizm and Optic have always had retail alternatives, while Select has not.

With that in mind, while some collectors are concerned that a Select retail release will dilute the value, the more likely explanation would be more collectors have a taste of Select cards and they gain popularity in exchange for the lack of exclusiveness.

Ask yourself this: are the most popular movies every year the ones only a few people see or the films that everybody watches?

Following that logic, a widespread Select release will actually boost the brand’s value.

Closing Thoughts On 2020 Select Football

Whether the product releases retail or hobby-only as usual, the demand will be high and the cards will bring excitement to many households.

And while a late-March release might seem late, it might also be a good thing. Effectively, the 2020 Select release will extend the window of football collecting, keeping the chase for Herbert, Burrow, and all the other hot 2020 rookies alive and well into the offseason while Panini begins to transition to an exciting 2021 class headlined by Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and many other elite prospects.

The validity of the leak remains to be seen in the coming weeks, but either way, 2020 Select Football is sure to be another hot product.