Nike and Fanatics are expanding their relationship.
The two companies have entered into a long-term, exclusive partnership that will make Fanatics Brands, the company’s in-house apparel and manufacturing division, the licensee for Nike fan apparel and headwear for a select group of leading colleges and universities. The deal will start with the summer of 2024.
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Fanatics already manufactures and distributes Nike fan gear for the National Football League and Major League Baseball. Under this new deal, Fanatics will design and produce apparel, replica jerseys, headwear, sideline apparel and women’s fan gear for a group of colleges as well.
Fanatics’ vertical commerce model will result in a larger assortment and allow merchandise to hit the market more quickly. It will also allow the companies to focus on further investment and growth in the women’s category of the business, a key category for both.
The companies will also work closely with the Fanatics College division, which already partners with most of the Nike-sponsored colleges and universities.
“We are proud to expand our long-standing partnership with Nike and implement our innovative vertical commerce model across their preeminent roster of universities,” said Doug Mack, chief executive officer of Fanatics Commerce and vice chairman of Fanatics Holdings. “Our team is excited to maximize the value of Nike’s college partnerships by creating faster speed-to-market of fan gear through our agile supply chain, resulting in an expanded assortment of both timeless and on-trend Nike-branded merchandise for college fans and retailers everywhere.”
Fanatics, a digital sports and merchandising platform, raised $1.5 billion in March from a group of investors that included BlackRock, Fidelity and MSD Capital, Michael Dell’s private investment firm. It valued the company at $27 billion.