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Asia

Fanatics expands in Japan with four new major league team partnerships

Kashima Soccer Stadium

Featured image credit: Waka77 / CC by 1.0 / Resized to fit

Fanatics has expanded its presence in Japan after signing new long-term partnerships with four more sports clubs, including the J.League’s Kashima Antlers.

The sports merchandise giant will take over the management of stadium and clubhouse retail shops at the teams. Fanatics is now also working with the J.League’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and V-Varen Nagasaki and basketball club Nagasaki Velca.

Some 11 sports teams across Japan are now partnered with Fanatics.

What Fanatics will bring to the teams

Fanatics is set to refurbish the Antlers’ stadium and clubhouse shops to provide supporters with an “unprecedented” customer experience.

For Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the company, which has offices in Tokyo, is due to operate onsite retail at its new stadium. Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima is due to open in February next year.

Under the new partnership with V-Varen Nagasaki and Nagasaki Velca, Fanatics will take over merchandise operations from the 2025 season. This will include managing the clubs’ online and in-person retail shops at their venues. This includes the Nagasaki Stadium City, scheduled to open in the second half of 2024.

Fanatics aims to give fans first-class experience

“We are extremely proud to have announced new partnerships with three more J.League clubs and our first basketball club based in Japan,” said Fanatics’ Masanori Kawana.

“Japanese fans are passionate and as experts in licensed sports merchandising with extensive experience globally and locally here in Japan, we will make every effort to provide fans of all our new partner clubs with a wide range of relevant merchandise and first-class retail experiences for many years to come.”

Fanatics is also partnered with some of the biggest clubs in Japan. These include the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball league.

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