Paris 2024 Olympic Games: with Marchand and Riner but without Mbappé and Wembanyama, the inside story of the Panini des Bleus album

Clarisse Agbégnénou, Rudy Gobert, Teddy Riner and Nikola Karabatic now have their Panini sticker. On the occasion of the Paris 2024 Games, Panini France, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is publishing an album, which was previously unpublished, around the French Olympic and Paralympic team. With 469 stickers including 81 special ones, it has 80 pages, offering the portrait of 441 athletes who will wear the colors of the French team during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“In the history of Panini, there have already been albums relating to the Games, but with a different treatment, there had never been anything around the French Olympic and Paralympic team,” underlines Isabelle Fillon, marketing director of Panini France. The cover, with the Rooster, emblem of the unified French team, has been carefully designed including all the pictograms designated by Paris 2024.

“We had to make choices”

Inside, there is no point looking for all the future participants in the Games, in particular for reasons of the number of stickers (in total around 900 athletes will participate in the Games) and the calendar. With the selections taking place until the beginning of July and the album having to be printed in advance, Panini had to make choices to create this album representative above all of “athletes on the road to Paris 2024”. In the end, some athletes may not make the Games, others will be there, without having a sticker.

 

“This album was quite complex to put together,” recognizes Isabelle Fillon. We wanted it to bring together the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines within the same support. We hoped to have optimal representation with all sports, and it is achieved. But we had to make choices, depending in particular on our closing dates. » The first photos were taken in January 2023, the different federations collaborated but had to accommodate Panini’s timing requirements. Each thus transmitted “between 40 and 50% of the personnel who were actually going to be present at the Games”.

Panini had to narrow down the athletes who agreed to be in the album. It was also necessary to have the photos available at the time of production. “We have a magnificent collection,” says Isabelle Fillon. A collection that will remain legendary, whatever the sales figures. »

For Wembanyama, a contract story

Félix Lebrun, rising star of table tennis, and Kevin Mayer, even still in search of qualification, and Léon Marchand are in good positions. On the other hand, no Antoine Dupont, who had not yet joined the French rugby sevens team when the album was sent into production. No Victor Wembanyama either, for contract and logistical reasons. At the time of the shooting organized for the French basketball team collective, the new NBA star was absent. To have him, Panini would therefore have had to contact him on a personal basis, but Wembanyama has an individual contract with Panini’s competitor.

Table tennis player Félix Lebrun, one of the stars of the album. Panini

 

No Kylian Mbappé either, whose presence at the Olympics is very uncertain in any case, nor any male footballer. Again, for legal and deadline reasons. “By mutual agreement, we decided not to represent the French men’s football team, and to devote two pages to the women’s team,” specifies the marketing director.

The album intended, above all, to highlight “a collective and not individuals”, also offers a lot of information such as the rules, anecdotes, the number of medals obtained since the first Olympic Games of the modern era.

The album is on sale from April 2, 2024. Pack of 6 stickers: 1 euro; pack to start the collection (1 album + 2 covers + 1 free cover): 4.95 euros.

By Editor

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