Fanatics, Inc., the online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, hired Gary Gertzog as executive vice president of business affairs. Gertzog comes to Fanatics after spending nearly 20 years at the National Football League, most recently overseeing all legal and business affairs for the league’s commercial operations as SVP, business affairs and general counsel.
Reporting directly to Fanatics CEO Alan Trager, Gertzog will be responsible for business affairs, government affairs, legal and corporate development across all facets of the company, while playing a significant role with overall strategic planning to continue driving company growth.
“There are many exciting developments happening at Fanatics right now, and we are thrilled to be adding someone with the background and strategic expertise across multiple categories that Gary brings to the company,” said Trager. “With decades of experience, including his leadership role in a wide variety of deals for the NFL across media, sponsorship, marketing and consumer products licensing, Gary will be an invaluable partner in moving the company forward as we continue to deliver on our promise of providing the absolute best shopping experience to sports fans everywhere.”
Gertzog oversaw all legal and business affairs for the NFL’s commercial operations, including media, consumer product licensing, corporate sponsorships, events and intellectual property. He has worked closely with NFL Clubs, key business partners, and served as senior executive liaison to the NFL Business Ventures Committee, Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Players, Inc. (the business entity for the NFLPA). Gertzog played a major role in a wide variety of complex commercial arrangements involving new business models and deal structures. These included the NFL Master Agreement (allocating intellectual property rights between the NFL and Member Clubs), industry-setting deals for media, apparel, video game, credit card, beverage and telecommunication products as well as the NFL’s new strategic investment fund.
“I’m very excited to be joining Fanatics, one of the most innovative technology companies in sports that has changed the way fans buy team merchandise and grown the industry overall,” added Gertzog. “Fanatics has recently recruited some the best people across sports, retail, television, technology and mobile, and I’m looking forward to joining this world-class team to help accelerate the growth of the business.”
Gertzog is the latest senior executive to join Fanatics in the last 18 months, following President Jamie Davis (Comcast/NBCU); President of Merchandising Jack Boyle (Kohl’s) and SVP/GM of Mobile David Katz, who came to Fanatics from Groupon earlier this month.
Prior to joining the NFL, Gary was a partner at the New York law firm of Townley & Updike where he specialized in intellectual property and sports marketing work.
Gary is a 1983 graduate of George Washington University Law School where he was a member of the Law Review. He obtained a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1980. Gertzog was also selected as a “40 under 40” by Crain’s New York Business and Corporate Counsel Magazine.
Fanatics is a leading online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise and provides the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans. As a Top 50 Internet Retailer Company, Fanatics comprises the broadest online assortment offering hundreds of thousands of officially licensed items via its Fanatics (www.fanatics.com) and FansEdge (www.fansedge.com) brands. In addition, the company powers the e-commerce sites of all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA), major media brands (ESPN, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and e-stores for over 200 collegiate and professional team properties.