The e-commerce retailer is on board to manage, and significantly grow, Major League Soccer’s fan merchandise assortment.
GLOBAL–Major League Soccer and Fanatics have entered into a long-term, global agreement that will expand the companies’ e-commerce relationship and provide Fanatics the worldwide rights to exclusively produce MLS fan gear, beginning in 2019.
Under the new agreement, Fanatics will create apparel, headwear and hard goods across all retail and wholesale channels for the U.S. soccer organization. In addition, it will use its supply chain and vertical manufacturing model to initiative new MLS licensing rights across a variety of categories the company specializes in, such as hot market and name and number products. The companies will also work together to secure new best-in-class partners to grow MLS’ overall product assortment.
“Fanatics has been a strong digital commerce partner of the League and our clubs and we are looking forward to expanding our partnership and capitalizing on their expertise in licensed sports merchandising,” says Kathy Carter, president, Soccer United Marketing, MLS’ commercial arm. “We will be working closely with the Fanatics team to substantially expand our fanwear product assortments across all MLS clubs, starting with the expanded categories that the Fanatics and Majestic brands will be bringing to the market.”
Additionally, Fanatics will increase the availability of MLS products worldwide, both online and through wholesale, beginning with the launch of a new, localized e-commerce platform in Canada. It will also take over on-site retail operations of key league events, including the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
The first fan gear apparel and accessories collections are set to hit retail prior to the 2019 season.
“MLS fans are some of the most passionate and tech-savvy across the entire sports landscape, and we are excited to expand our partnership with this rapidly growing league to provide a significantly enhanced multichannel assortment of unique and timely products from both our Fanatics and Majestic brands as well as other top companies worldwide,” says Gary Gertzog, president, business affairs, Fanatics. “Our philosophy of faster speed-to-market of merchandise will ensure fans can celebrate the players and teams they love in real-time, including special items for championship moments, record-breaking feats and breakthrough performances.”