Licensed sports merchandise business Fanatics has extended and expanded its deal with the Detroit Lions in a new agreement that is set to see it open a new state-of-the-art team store inside the NFL franchise’s Ford Field home.
The multi-year extension of the existing e-commerce partnership will see Fanatics become the team’s end-to-end omnichannel retail partner. Fanatics will assume operations of the full suite of on-site merchandise and fan gear outlets at Ford Field, while continuing to power the Lions’ online and mobile commerce business. Fanatics has been the Lions’ e-commerce partner since 2015.
A centrepiece of the new partnership is Fanatics’ significant investment to reinvent the in- venue retail experience for fans on game day and beyond. This will be highlighted by Lions Supply, a brand- new team store inside Ford Field.
The store will span more than 6,000 square feet of retail space, nearly twice the size of the former location. It is designed to optimise the shopping experience for fans with modern merchandise displays and increased point of sale options.
A new feature of the store will be fan access from both inside and outside of the stadium, with Lions Supply set to open for the first time at the Lions’ home opener on September 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We are excited to partner with Fanatics to bring a dynamic retail experience to Ford Field,” said Kelly Kozole, senior vice-president of revenue for the Detroit Lions. “Lions Supply is a key element of our continued commitment to creating an amazing experience for our loyal Lions fans.”
The in-venue store will feature expanded offerings for women and kids, a customisation area for fans, headwear wall, and designated shops within the retail space for brands including Fanatics, Nike and Mitchell & Ness.
“Over the years, the Detroit Lions have been a valued partner to Fanatics, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship to create a truly unparalleled merchandise experience for the passionate Lions fans,” said Ed O’Brien, Fanatics senior vice-president of business development.
“The opening of the new Lions Supply team store is one of the more ambitious projects we’ve undertaken, and we can’t wait to see the reaction from fans on both game day and beyond.”
Fanatics is the NFL’s official e-commerce partner and holds online and mobile commerce relationships with 27 clubs. The Lions become the company’s 11th omnichannel retail and merchandise partner for which Fanatics operates both e-commerce and in-venue shopping.
Fanatics last month entered into a wide-ranging partnership with the University of Alabama, with the deal to include the opening of a first-ever retail team store inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.