Fanatics, a leader in officially licensed sports merchandise, appointed global e-commerce and branding executive Steve Davis as president, Fanatics International. Davis most recently served as the CEO of digital fast-fashion retailer Rue La La.

Reporting directly to Fanatics CEO Doug Mack, Davis will be tasked with leading the growth of Fanatics’ international division, which provides a ]n omni-channel platform to help sports brands and teams service their global fan bases with a larger, more-timely merchandise assortment offered online, on mobile, at games or at sporting events.

Davis and his team will also begin building out worldwide manufacturing and distribution infrastructure to support Fanatics’ vertical merchandise model.  This vertical commerce model has been implemented across North America and offers a broader assortment of products that Fanatics designs, manufactures and delivers through a faster, more agile supply chain.

“Steve brings a broad range of commerce and brand-building expertise to Fanatics with a deep understanding of the global retail landscape.  His leadership will significantly advance our global footprint and expand the multichannel, merchandising and manufacturing capabilities that we provide to all our partners worldwide,” said Mack. “We aim to become the number one fan brand in the world and Steve will play a key part in ensuring we make that happen.”

Operating from locations around the globe, Fanatics International provides online, retail and end-to-end event solutions across football, motorsports, rugby, tennis and golf. In 2016 Fanatics made a significant investment to grow its international division by acquiring U.K.-based online retailer Kitbag, an official partner of top football clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Borrussia Dortmund. Fanatics also added global distribution and manufacturing resources necessary to power its vertical merchandise model through the recent acquisition of leading licensed sportswear company Majestic, announced this past May.

“Fanatics has experienced unprecedented growth over the past few years and I could not be more excited to accelerate the momentum in our international operations,” said Davis. “Fanatics’ innovative approach to growing the licensed sports industry will allow many of the world’s top sports brands and clubs to connect more deeply with their fans through increased assortments, the ability to provide real-time, on-demand items and added global distribution points that will put gear in people’s hands faster than ever before.”

Davis’ appointment comes on the heels of Fanatics closing a significant investment round from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the world’s largest investment fund targeting globally-minded, transformative companies. SoftBank’s deep ties throughout Asia-Pacific will play a key role in creating a stronger connection between Fanatics and the region’s growing sports fandom.

Prior to Rue La La, Davis was headquartered in Spain overseeing the global operations for GSI Commerce, an e-commerce and marketing solutions company that was acquired by eBay in 2011. He developed synergies between the global and North American arms of the company, helping to grow the business abroad with a focus on mobile commerce.

Davis received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware and his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy Fanatics