Fanatics Becomes Official Olympics Merch E-Commerce Provider
Fanatics, the licensed merchandise giant, landed another big deal this week. The company will become the official e-commerce partner of the Olympics, hosting and selling merchandise online in exchange for a percentage of the sales.
According to CNBC, the deal covers online merchandise sales for all Olympic games up to and including the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, with the exception of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (due to China's existing agreement with Alibaba).
The deal also includes licensing rights to previous Olympic games, allowing Fanatics to produce merchandise for events that have already happened. CNBC reported that the company plans to create a "heritage line" of apparel and souvenirs featuring the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, as well as an "Olympic Collection" of toys and sports equipment aimed at younger consumers.
Fanatics' deal with the IOC covers:
🛒 Olympic Shop multi-territory ecommerce platform
🥇 Three Olympic Games up to Los Angeles 2028
🤳 Potential to explore other areas like NFTs #SportsBiz #Olympics
— SportsPro (@SportsPro) October 28, 2021
“[Merchandise] is all we’ve done for more than 20 years, working with great sports organizations and [accumulating] knowledge and contacts across sports," Gary Gertzog, president of business affairs at Fanatics, told SportsPro Media. "We see the Olympics as one of, if not the, premier sporting events in the world. We look at the Olympics as an area that isn’t fulfilling its potential in terms of the products on offer and how they are offered.”
The deal is a big one for Fanatics, which already held the e-commerce licensing rights for Team USA merchandise. While exact terms of the new revenue-sharing agreement were not disclosed, CNBC noted that the Olympic games typically generate hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandise sales:
But to paint a picture of the revenue that could be available to Fanatics, organizers projected $100 million from selling licensed products around the 2020 Olympics. For the 2016 Games in Brazil, officials initially estimated more than $400 million in sales. And the 2002 Winter Games—the last Olympic games held in the states—generated $500 million in gross retail sales for licensed products, according to the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.
Fanatics has had a huge year. It recently launched an NFT platform (called Candy Digital) valued at $1.5 billion, acquired the trading cards rights to several U.S. pro sports leagues including Major League Baseball, and began operating Amazon storefronts for NFL merchandise.
1 DAY LEFT! MLB NFT Packs are Coming Oct 26th on @CandyDigital!
— Fanatics (@Fanatics) October 25, 2021
In 2020, the company acquired WinCraft, a hard goods manufacturer, to bolster its expansion into additional product categories. In 2017, Fanatics secured a $1 billion investment from SoftBank. As of September 2021, Fanatics is reportedly valued at $10.4 billion.