The University of Texas at Austin has unveiled a comprehensive licensed merchandise strategy that includes new exclusive partnerships with Fanatics and HanesBrands, and will lead to a flagship retail store being installed at the under-development Moody Center.

The three parties will lead the development of an expansive collection of fan apparel across all retail channels in an effort to provide Longhorn fans with “A Selection As Big As Texas.”

In addition to serving as an exclusive apparel licensee, Fanatics will continue to provide e-commerce and in-venue retail operations for Texas Athletics through 2030. Through this expanded partnership, Fanatics will continue to power the Longhorns’ official online shop and will also launch a state-of-the-art flagship retail store inside the new Moody Center, which will become the new home of Texas men’s and women’s basketball in 2022.

The roughly 1,800 sq. ft. primary team store will be customised for Longhorn fans visiting on gameday and beyond, with mobile point-of-sale and online pick up options for shoppers. Fanatics will also create new experiences before, during and after college football games, opening unique pop-up shops at Bevo Blvd, the popular Texas Football pre-game street party, and opportunities on campus with a student focus. 

HanesBrands, which owns the iconic Champion and Hanes apparel brands, along with Alternative and other popular brands, will focus on designing and manufacturing Texas fan gear for local Austin market retailers and national supercentre and club retailers.

Fanatics will lead growth in the internet channel and at sporting goods and department store retailers. Texas will also continue its partnership with Nike as the provider of performance products and specific fan merchandise for the Longhorns’ Athletics programs. 

“Fanatics and HanesBrands are each committed to significantly expanding the assortment and distribution of Texas merchandise, which complements our fan-focused licensed merchandise strategy,” said Drew Martin, executive senior associate athletics director for external affairs at UT-Austin.

“We selected these partners because they are invested in a true brand partnership with Texas Athletics and the University as we work to provide ‘A Selection As Big As Texas’ for Longhorn fans. We have already seen our fans respond to this newly expanded product experience with near record sales on the first football gameday.”

UT-Austin, Oak View Group and Live Nation Entertainment broke ground on the Moody Center, a 15,000-seat, multi-purpose venue that will sit on the college campus, back in December 2019.

The $338m (£248.1m/€292.3m) arena will replace the 42-year-old Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center at the university campus.

It will also host graduations, community events and concerts. Live Nation Entertainment will work with C3 Presents to bring top tours and premium live events to the Moody Center.

Image: Moody Center