Fanatics Acquires Hard Goods Supplier WinCraft in Move Aimed at Expanding Product Offering
Fanatics has acquired hard goods manufacturer WinCraft, creating a new opportunity for the sportswear and fan apparel company to expand its product offering.
According to Sports Pro Media, Fanatics’ acquisition of WinCraft includes its corporate headquarters and production facilities in Winona, Minn., as well as other offices in Iowa. WinCraft president John Killen will now lead Fanatics’ hard goods division.
Fanatics acquires WinCraft, a company that makes sports-themed merchandise https://t.co/aBceTLHYR1
— CNBC (@CNBC) December 7, 2020
WinCraft does business as LarLu in the promotional products industry, operating out of the same facilities in Winona and offering the same product categories via the traditional supplier-distributor model. A spokesperson for LarLu said things are "business as usual" for employees. (We will update this story when we receive an official statement or other new information that was not available in time for publication.)
The acquisition makes sense for Fanatics. WinCraft reportedly has licenses for more than 700 colleges and major league sports teams, and generates $100 million annually. Fanatics has been increasing its own portfolio by branching into a wider variety of sports leagues, like e-sports, but getting a hard goods division to expand its product lines transforms the identity of the company.
In September, Fanatics also acquired Top of World, a collegiate headwear company.
“The combined manufacturing capabilities of [Top of World] and WinCraft working together with Fanatics’ bricks-and-mortar retail partners provides a tremendous opportunity to grow the licensed retail space by providing consumers a one-stop-shop for apparel and non-apparel items both online and offline,” a company spokesman told CNBC.
Fanatics can now position itself as a one-stop shop e-retailer for end-buyers. It’s not quite at the level of something like Amazon or Walmart, but when it comes to licensed sports products, Fanatics is on its way to becoming synonymous with sports gear.