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Merchandising

Fanatics extends backing of UEFA’s major events

Featured image credit: UEFA

Licensed sports merchandise business Fanatics has extended and expanded its partnership with UEFA in what is being described as one of the most comprehensive sports merchandising partnerships in European football.

The national team football deal with the European governing body, for both the men’s and women’s games, is an extension of the previous event retail partnership announced in July 2019 and will now see Fanatics gain e-commerce rights and the right to design and manufacture unbranded apparel.

The new partnership will see Fanatics continue to operate event retail at UEFA’s major international events, including Euro 2024 in Germany, Women’s Euro 2025 and Euro 2028. Hosting rights to the latter two events are yet to be decided.

Fanatics will exclusively operate the e-commerce business for UEFA’s national team competitions and will become the master licensee for its full merchandise portfolio with UEFA taking advantage of Fanatics’ vertical commerce model.

Fanatics will create products or license the rights to category leaders in their respective fields to manufacture and distribute a significantly expanded, real-time selection of UEFA branded products.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said: “We are delighted and excited to have agreed this long-term partnership with Fanatics, who are a market-leader in their field.

“Our national team competitions for both the men’s and women’s game are some of the most followed sporting events across the globe and together, we are looking forward to offering fans an extensive range of merchandise so that the memories of these great tournaments remain with them for years to come.”

The UEFA deal comes after Fanatics last week signed a partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The agreement will see Fanatics operate the official ICC Global online store for all events and manage event retail including the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup and the 2023 World Test Championship Final.

As part of the new deal, Fanatics will also be able to manufacture officially licensed ICC product utilising Fanatics’ vertical commerce model, widespread global manufacturing and distribution capabilities. This will give cricket fans access to a significantly expanded assortment of licensed ICC merchandise.

Fanatics also added to its major events portfolio last month by agreeing a deal with organisers of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Matthew Primack, senior vice-president of international business development at Fanatics, said: “UEFA is one of the most respected brands in global sport and we are proud to be chosen to deliver their retail and merchandise solutions. 

“Fanatics is poised to provide UEFA with its first fully integrated e-commerce, event retail and licensed programme, and service a truly world class integrated experience for fans, regardless of whether they choose to shop online, at an event or at a retail store.”