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April 6, 2023
Fanatics has acquired EPI, an Italian sports merchandise company that operates the official online and retail stores of several top Italian football clubs and international sports brands.
As part of the acquisition, Milan-based EPI will be re-branded as Fanatics Italy. It will provide complete end-to-end e-commerce, in-venue, physical retail store operations and third-party logistics for sports clubs in Italy including AC Milan, Atalanta BC, Bologna FC, ACF Fiorentina, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus, S.S. Lazio and the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio) as well as for Italian basketball club, Olimpia Milano, and the NBA. As a part of the deal, which was agreed upon with the Industry 4.0 Fund, the Quadrivio Group private equity fund that invests in digital transition and technological transformation for SMEs, Fanatics will also acquire The Pitch Football Store.
Under Fanatics, EPI’s current roster of partners will benefit from the company’s global presence and range of capabilities including e-commerce, data-driven insights from its extensive global sports database, venue and event operations experience, its wholesale distribution footprint, product design and creation of a range of merchandise from jerseys to hardgoods and headwear.
“I am thrilled to welcome Lorenzo and the EPI team to Fanatics – we share an entrepreneurial mindset, a passion for delighting sports fans and a love for innovating for sports teams and leagues, which makes for an exciting future together,” says Doug Mack, commerce chief executive officer and vice chairman, Fanatics. “By combining EPI’s local expertise and relationships in Italy with Fanatics’ leading-edge capabilities and global reach, we are excited to accelerate business for EPI’s current partners while further advancing our unrivaled offering for new global partners ahead.”
EPI will become part of the Fanatics Commerce division, and all its approximately 150 employees will continue reporting to Lorenzo Forte in his new role as chief executive, Fanatics Italy. Forte will report to Jack Boyle and Chris Orton, commerce co-presidents for direct-to-consumer, Fanatics.
“We’re excited to join Fanatics, a global company with the experience of serving millions of sports fans from some of the biggest sports clubs and organizations in the world,” says Forte. “Fanatics is one of the fastest-growing and most-exciting companies in sport, and we are ready to tap into its increasingly global presence and bring a more extensive digital sports experience to global fans, both here in Italy and across the world.”
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