A woman looks at a merchandise store at the Tokyo Dome before a Japanese Central League baseball game between the Yomiuri Giants and the Hiroshima Carp on October 14, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
Carl Court | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
Sports trading platform Fanatics expands recently signed long-term partnership with Nike to include the production and distribution of merchandise for the Yomiuri Giants, Japan’s most successful and popular baseball team.
In addition to exclusive merchandising rights, Fanatics will operate the e-commerce and physical retail businesses for the Yomiuri Giants and plans to renovate retail stores in the Tokyo Dome prior to the 2023 season. Nike will become the official uniform supplier of the Yomiuri Giants. Fanatics will produce on-field uniforms and player performance items, as well as other Nike fan jerseys and apparel sold online and in physical stores. Fanatics also creates autographs and collectibles for Yomiuri Giants fans.
The Yomiuri Giants are the first non-US sports team to adopt this Nike-Fanatics model for on-field and sporting goods. A major player in sports merchandising, Fanatics has exclusive licensing agreements with the NFL, NHL, MLB, as well as various colleges and universities. Some of these stores, including NFL and MLB, also overlap with Nike’s jersey and apparel offerings.
A partnership between Fanatics and Nike he was hit earlier this year for Fanatics’ U.S. school sportswear production, which is slated to begin in 2024.
Fanatics has evolved in recent years to include collectibles, sports betting and NFT businesses. The closely held company, founded by Michael Rubin, has also completed several acquisitions. in 2020 acquired sporting goods manufacturer WinCraftand at the beginning of this year bought by Topps trading card company for 500 million dollars. Earlier this year, CNBC reported that Fanatics did in negotiations to buy the sports betting company Tipicoalthough no agreement has yet been reached.
Rubin recently got rid of it from stakes in the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers due to the growth of business lines with potential conflicts of interest, including betting and licensing agreements with individual athletes.
Fanatics has grown to more than 10,000 employees in 57 countries and serves nearly 100 million sports fans worldwide.
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