Fanatics and the University of Alabama announced a long-term, multi-faceted partnership that includes the University’s exclusive rights for activation by Fanatics on its digital sports platform.
The partnership covers several categories: core licensing rights for fan apparel and headwear, e-commerce, in-stadium retail, physical and digital trading cards and collecting rights.
Fanatics has been a longtime partner of the University, operating its e-commerce platform for the Alabama Department of Athletics at Shop.RollTide.com and ranking among the top-selling licensees for products Crimson Tide.
Several companies from Fanatics’ digital sports platform will execute this latest end-to-end collegiate partnership model, including Fanatics Commerce and Fanatics Collectibles, Topps, the trading card brand, and Candy Digital, the collectibles company. digital Fanatics.
Through this expanded partnership, the University can capitalize on Fanatics merchandising platforms to create, promote, and distribute Alabama merchandise featuring the name, likeness, and likeness (NIL) rights of its Crimson student-athletes. Current tides.
As part of the agreement, Fanatics will launch “The Authentic”, its first retail team store inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Scheduled to open during the 2022 college football season, the store will feature officially licensed team apparel and NIL student-athlete merchandise, including custom Nike player jerseys, custom name and number t-shirts, headgear, official in-game memorabilia and over-demand digital trading cards from Topps. Crimson Tide student-athletes will also provide autographed merchandise, meet/greet fans, and conduct social media marketing to support sales of their NIL merchandise.
Fanatics will work with OneTeam Partners to obtain group licensing rights for activating NIL merchandise rights and separate marketing and autograph partnerships.
“Fanatics has been one of Alabama Athletics’ best partners for more than a decade, and this new agreement elevates our relationship to new heights,” said University of Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne. “By leveraging Fanatics’ expanded scope of services, we’ve positioned our university and student-athletes to maximize sales and brand exposure with Fanatics’ premier family of brands, including Fanatics Commerce, Topps and Candy Digital I think our fans will be excited when they see it all come together in The Authentic store at Bryant-Denny, which we plan to open this season.
Under the new agreement, Fanatics will gain exclusive rights to be the University’s primary apparel and headwear licensee through retail distribution channels. Fanatics Brands, Fanatics’ in-house apparel division, will design, manufacture and distribute an expanded selection of Crimson Tide licensed apparel and headwear.
Working with UA and its licensing agency, CLC, Fanatics will support other Authorized Direct Licensees across all product categories to provide the widest assortment of Crimson Tide apparel and headwear. The University will also retain the right to administer all license fees through CLC for the campus and local market in Tuscaloosa, AL, which several licensees and retailers in the state currently serve.
The Alabama Department of Athletics, through its partnership with Nike, will provide on-field performance products and fan merchandise for Crimson Tide’s athletics programs, including authentic and replica jerseys, headgear and clothing.
“Fanatics’ comprehensive service offering across multiple product categories was critical to meeting the University’s expectations for a high fanatics and business experience,” said Derek Eiler, Executive Vice President of Fanatics College. “The University of Alabama has high expectations when it comes to fan experience and engagement, so by creating a one-stop-shop to meet all of the University’s needs, we’ve been able to align with a transformative partnership. to have a profound impact on Alabama Athletics.
Fanatics Collectibles and Topps have secured the rights to design, manufacture and distribute official physical and digital trading cards. These products will combine the use of official University of Alabama marks and NIL rights for current and former Crimson Tide student-athletes.
Beginning in 2025, Fanatics Collectibles will be the University’s exclusive trading card partner. Candy Digital will also be creating digital collectibles and NFTs of select former UA and current Crimson Tide student-athletes.
Crimson Tide Sports Marketing and CLC, which operate within Learfield, the media, data and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics, assisted the University of Alabama in the deal with Fanatics.