Japan’s Yomiuri Giants overhauls in-stadium merch with Fanatics, Nike

Featured image credit:  htmgarcia from Pixabay

Featured image credit:  htmgarcia from Pixabay

Yomiuri Giants, Japan’s most successful baseball team, is to overhaul its in-stadium retail stores through a new partnership with major sportswear brands Nike and Fanatics.

The Giants, who play at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome, will become the first non-US team to implement the apparel sales model used extensively by Nike and Fanatics across professional sport in North America. Fanatics will manufacture and distribute on-field uniforms and player performance items as well as additional Nike-branded fan jerseys and apparel that are sold both online and at physical retail locations.

Fanatics will also tap its leading memorabilia division to create and offer unique autograph and collectible products for fans to celebrate the team and players. 

The long-term partnership will see Fanatics exclusively operate the e-commerce and physical retail business for the Yomiuri Giants, with Fanatics launching a new online store at the end of January and refurbishing the retail stores at the Tokyo Dome, ready for the start of the NPB 2023 season.

Fanatics will also become the master licensee for the Yomiuri Giants merchandise portfolio, with the club deploying Fanatics’ vertical commerce manufacturing model. Vertical commerce will enhance both assortment and speed-to-market of Yomiuri Giants merchandise by using technology, data, on-demand manufacturing, and an agile supply chain to create the most responsive collections of merchandise for Yomiuri Giants fans.

Tsukasa Imamura, Yomiuri Giants’ president, said: “It is a great honour and pleasure to partner with Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise. We can imagine the joy on our fans’ faces brought by the innovative business model, which includes manufacturers, logistics, e-commerce, and retailers using cutting-edge technology. By combining Fanatics’ fan-centric philosophy of “Everything exists for the fans” with the history and tradition of Yomiuri Giants, celebrating 89 years since the team’s founding, we are confident that we can provide one of the best fan experiences in the world.”

Fanatics partners with more than 900 of the world’s leading sports organisations, clubs and leagues such as National Football League, National Basketball Association, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Masanori Kawana, managing director of Fanatics in East Asia, said: “Since we began our journey in Asia five years ago, we focused on creating value for the fans with a strong belief that our global vertical business model would benefit them and work across Asia.

“This innovative model, which has proven to be successful with some of the biggest US professional leagues and universities, will be a complete gamechanger for the Asian sports industry and will benefit Yomiuri Giants fans with a larger selection of high-quality merchandise available wherever they are and whenever they want it.”