Fanatics joins Nike and MLB in multi-year deal

28 Jan 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Fanatics, Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nike have announced a new, 10-year global partnership that will see the sportswear giant become the official Uniform and Footwear Supplier to the MLB.

Under the three-way cooperation agreement, Nike will become the exclusive provider of all MLB on-field uniforms, along with baselayer, game-day outerwear and all training apparel for the 30 MLB clubs, with all the kit to be manufactured and distributed by Fanatics.

The deal will start in the 2020 season and will provide MLB players with uniforms developed by Nike’s team of designers.

Additionally, the partnership will see global licensed sports merchandise specialist Fanatics use its ‘vertical-commerce’ model to create and distribute a wide range of MLB fan apparel sold at retail, the widest assortment of MLB fan gear to date.

Fanatics-produced products will include jerseys, commemorative postseason apparel, as well as hot market gear that captures the latest events taking place on the field of play.

Fanatics has also been granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of the Nike MLB Authentic Collection, as well as Nike and Fanatics fan gear sold through the MLBShop.com, MLB clubs and stores.

Commenting on the deal, Michael Rubin, Fanatics Founder and Executive Chairman, said: “Given the continued rise in real-time demand by both fans and retailers, this three-way partnership will ensure MLB fans always have access to the products they crave regardless how, where or when they want to shop.

“This progressive approach around joining forces between an elite performance brand and the innovative vertical capabilities of Fanatics continues to be the future model for licensed sports merchandise.”

Baseball Commissioner, Robert D. Manfred Jr, added: “We’re excited about the possibilities this unique arrangement provides us over the next decade.

“Nike’s global brand and reputation as a leader in marketing and driving innovation makes them an ideal partner. In addition, Fanatics is a valuable partner who has proven to serve our fans with speed, agility and quality service.”

As part of the new agreement, Nike will partner with all 30 MLB clubs to promote its brand and products across MLB media assets.

Nike will also utilise its roster of Baseball athletes in official MLB uniforms across its advertising and promotions.

The partnership will also see Nike continue as an Official MLB sponsor, supporting league initiatives, grassroots marketing and fan events.

Photo: © Getty Images