MLS AND FANATICS TAKE THE PITCH WITH
LONG-TERM FAN GEAR AND RETAIL PARTNERSHIP
Complements Existing League Partnership with adidas
Fanatics to Manage and Significantly Expand MLS Fan Merchandise Assortment
NEW YORK CITY AND SILICON VALLEY (November 6, 2017) – Major League Soccer (MLS) and Fanatics jointly announced today a broad long-term global agreement that expands the scale and scope of Fanatics’ relationship with the League, beginning in 2019. In addition to extending the long-standing ecommerce relationship between the two organizations, the multichannel deal is highlighted by Fanatics gaining worldwide rights to exclusively produce MLS fan gear apparel, headwear and hard goods across all retail and wholesale channels.
Fanatics, which recently acquired leading apparel brand Majestic, will use its agile supply chain and breakthrough vertical manufacturing model to activate new MLS licensing rights across a wide array of categories the company specializes in, such as hot market and name and number products. Under the new agreement, Fanatics and MLS will also work collaboratively to identify and secure additional best-in-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high quality products available to fans worldwide.
This agreement complements MLS’ partnership with adidas -- the official sponsor for the League, its Clubs, MLS youth academies and youth affiliated clubs -- for all products worn on the field by MLS athletes and technical staff.
“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,” said Kathy Carter, President of 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.”
In conjunction with MLS’ growing international appeal, Fanatics will be expanding the availability of MLS products around the globe, both online and through wholesale, beginning with the launch of a new, localized Canadian ecommerce platform in 2018. Fanatics will also take over exclusive on-site retail operations of key league events, including the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, creating a more seamless omni-channel experience for fans.
“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,” said Gary Gertzog, Fanatics President of Business Affairs. “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.”
MLS and Fanatics expect to begin offering an assortment of new fan gear apparel and accessories at retail, prior to the 2019 season.
In addition to powering the official MLS online store, MLSstore.com, which encompasses all 23 MLS Clubs, Fanatics is the official in-venue retail provider for Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, Minnesota United FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
As the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture. Powering multichannel commerce for the world’s biggest sports brands, Fanatics offers the largest collection of timeless and timely merchandise whether shopping online, on your phone, in stores, in stadiums or on-site at the world’s biggest sporting events.
The company powers the Fanatics, FansEdge, Kitbag and Majestic brands, while also offering the largest selection of sports collectibles and memorabilia through Fanatics Authentic. A multi-faceted, mobile-first company, Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL MLS, NASCAR, PGA), major media brands (NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and more than 200 collegiate and professional team properties, which include all MLS teams and several global soccer clubs.
In addition to e-commerce, the company’s capabilities include multichannel-integrated event and team retail across all leagues and major events around the world, such as the Kentucky Derby, Ryder Cup, NFL games in London and NHL’s Winter Classic; international capabilities through its Fanatics International division that provides a global sports retail platform; and an in-house merchandise division that is a licensed partner of all the major sports leagues and helps fans express passion through a broad range of styles, designs and jerseys created under both the Fanatics and Majestic brands. Fanatics’ vertical manufacturing engine is built for the on-demand economy and brings much-needed agility to the industry, better servicing today’s passionate sports fans and their growing real-time expectations with more unique and innovative products readily available across retail channels.
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer features 22 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about MLS, visit www.MLSsoccer.com.