Fanatics, Nike Team Up With Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo

There’s a new team in Japanese baseball.

The Yomiuri Giants, Nike and digital sports platform Fanatics have formed a long-term global partnership that applies the licensed sports merchandise model that has been used with the National Football League and Major League Baseball to a professional team for the first time.

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Under the terms of the deal, Nike will become the on-field supplier of the Giants, designing uniforms and player performance items for the Tokyo team.

Fanatics will manufacture and distribute that gear as well as Nike-branded fan jerseys and other looks, sold online and in stores. The company’s memorabilia unit will also create collectibles for fans.

The arrangement has Fanatics serving as master licensee for the Giants’ merchandise portfolio and exclusively operating the team’s e-commerce and physical retail businesses.

Fanatics plans to launch a new online store for the team in January and refurbish the stores at the Tokyo Dome for the start of the season next year.

“Since we began our journey in Asia five years ago, we focused on creating values for the fans with a strong belief that our global vertical business model would benefit them and work in this region,” said Masanori Kawana, Fanatics managing director in East Asia. “This innovative model, which has proven to be successful with some of the biggest U.S. professional leagues and universities, will be a complete game changer for the Asian sports industry and will benefit Yomiuri Giants fans with a larger selection of high-quality merchandise available wherever they are and whenever they want it.”

Tsukasa Imamura, representative director and president of the Giants, said: “By combining Fanatics’ fan-centric philosophy of ‘Everything exists for the fans’ with the history and tradition of Yomiuri Giants, celebrating 89 years since the team’s founding, we are confident that we can provide one of the best fan experiences in the world.”

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