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Fanatics signs long-term partnership to sell licensed US College merchandise

Fanatics, a digital sports platform and global leader in licensed sports merchandise, has today announced a long-term agreement with leading US collegiate licensing company CLC to sell licensed fan merchandise from US colleges to UK and international fans of college sports.

Through its network of sites, Fanatics will offer US college sports fans all over the world a wide range of officially licensed products, such as lifestyle wear, hard goods and accessories from an initial 15 US colleges, including University of Florida, University of Texas, Michigan State University, LSU and University of Michigan, with plans to add more institutions over time.

As part of the expanded relationship, Fanatics will manufacture, distribute and sell a wide range of college apparel online, including additional college merchandise specifically manufactured by Fanatics to cater to international consumers based outside of the US. The full range of college apparel will also be available through many of Fanatics’ connected retail and media partners, such as Next and Sky Sports, which work with Fanatics to sell its extensive range of licensed sports merchandise directly through their online stores.

This partnership, which was brokered by CLC’s international licensing representative, IMG, adds to Fanatics’ long-standing credentials in the college apparel and merchandising space. Fanatics already has relationships with more than 150 preeminent colleges and universities in the USA across all fan retail touchpoints, including e-commerce, wholesale and physical stores inside stadiums and arenas and, beginning in mid-2024, will also exclusively manufacture Nike apparel for a select group of leading colleges and universities. Fanatics has established itself as a leader in the licensed collegiate products space and has revolutionised the way real-time, high-quality products are designed, manufactured, and distributed through its on-demand, vertical commerce model.

Commenting on the partnership, Matthew Primack, SVP, International Business Affairs and Development at Fanatics, said: “From our experience gained working in partnership with more than 150 colleges combined with our international retail expertise, we have a deep and unique understanding of both the passion held by fans of college sports and it’s desirability as product which is on trend and fashion forward.

“We are excited to announce this latest partnership with CLC, an industry leader in collegiate licensing and marketing, through the talented team at IMG, which will allow sports fans across the UK, and internationally to showcase their pride and passion for their college of choice. We look forward to offering college lifestyle fans a best-in-class shopping experience and unparalleled access to a wide range of officially licensed college merchandise.”

Natalie Horne, Associate Vice-President, Licensing, IMG, said:

Fanatics has established a well-earned reputation in the USA as a trailblazer in college sports merchandise. So, we are thrilled to work alongside the team to offer millions of college fans across the UK and internationally the chance to show their support for their college of choice. Over the coming months, we will work together to create innovative, seamless ways to access a market-leading range of licensed merchandise, taking the fan experience to the next level.”

Joe Hutchinson , SVP, Strategic Brand Management, CLC, said:

“We are excited to expand our long-standing relationship with Fanatics to now include international markets, expanding the reach and distribution for the collegiate brands we represent. Sports fans and fashion consumers alike connect to the passion and tradition of US colleges through licensed merchandise, and we look forward to this new program going beyond the traditional college shopper through unique product offerings.”

Fanatics has more than 80 manufacturing facilities, distribution centres and offices in 16 countries across the globe. It partners with more than 900 of the largest sporting organisations in the world, including Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, The FA, The International Olympic Committee, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and Formula 1.

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