The Welsh Rugby Union and Fanatics have signed a ten-year agreement which will look to improve supporter experience of the WRU’s retail and online stores and support Welsh rugby’s grassroots initiative ‘Pass It Back’.
The agreement gives Fanatics exclusive rights to operate the completely re-designed flagship store on Westgate Street in Cardiff, existing concourse units within the stadium and the official online store.
Fanatics will also introduce two new rapid retail units and a mobile retail outlet around Principality Stadium and will have non-exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Welsh Rugby products.
Fanatics will also be running the online store of the Dragons and will stock and sell merchandise from each of the four Welsh regions, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Dragons and Scarlets in the Westgate Street store.
In addition, Fanatics will sell jerseys and other merchandise relating to visiting teams to Principality Stadium. The first ‘guest’ product on sale will be seen this week with Scotland team apparel being available ahead of the NatWest 6 Nations opening clash.
WRU profits from the sale of merchandise and associated product which incorporate the ‘Pass It Back’ logo are re-invested into the game in Wales.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said: “Fanatics are an established global operation and we are looking forward to working with them to partner to improve our retail offering, bring in increased revenues for Welsh rugby over the short and long term as well as I’m sure gaining significant learning to bring into our broader commercial offering.
“We know that supporters in Wales and around the world enjoy wearing our kit and we are delighted to unveil our newly upgraded flagship Cardiff store today and also direct supporters to our new online store.
“We will be looking for feedback over the coming weeks on the new online customer experience and retail experience and will be working closely with Fanatics to constantly improve our offer for supporters.
“Fanatics share the brand values of Welsh rugby around the world and we aim to maximise our competitiveness in a thriving market place in terms of both quality and range and continue to provide the very best value for money for supporters.”
Ed Boardman, managing director for Fanatics’ International division in Manchester added: “Our mission is to create new and innovative ways for fans of Welsh rugby to connect with their passion. Fanatics is committed to providing a best-in-class omni-channel shopping experience for easy access to the largest assortment of officially licensed merchandise and an unparalleled customer service. We’re thrilled to be working with the WRU in a partnership that will ultimately benefit the fans and the game at grassroots level.”